Mobile shopping has become an important growth driver of online shopping in China according to a report from the China Internet Network Information Center.
The number of mobile shoppers grew to 55.5 million, surging 136.5 percent in the second half of 2012 from the same period a year ago. Mobile shoppers accounted for 23 percent of the nation’s 242 million online shoppers during this period.
E-commerce giant, Alibaba Group, which does over 70 percent share of online retail sales in China, may have 10 to 20 percent of its business coming from mobile devices, according Qiu Lin, an Internet stock analyst at Guosen Securities in Hong Kong. A recent Alibaba online shopping promotion through Tmall.com and Taobao.com saw one billion yuan of sales from mobile devices out of the 19.1 billion yuan ($3 billion) in total sales generated from the promotion.
Online sales is only a tiny percentage of retail sales, accounting for 4.32 percent of all retail sales. Yet, it has become the main way to shop in categories such as books and electronic devices.
Online shopping is estimated to account for 25 percent of books, 20 percent of all electronic devices, 10 percent of sportswear, and 6 percent of mother and child products according to research company Roland Berger.
Mobile Internet users grew to a record 420 million at the end of December, which is about 74.5 percent of China’s total Internet population of 564 million.