Here's Where China's Biggest Online Shoppers Live

By Joshua Cawthorpe, July 7, 2020

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China’s Ministry of Commerce released a new report on ecommerce and online retail sales in 2019, and South China’s Guangdong province tops the list. According to an article by China Daily, online retail spending is up 16.5% year-on-year, with sales topping RMB10.63 trillion. Guangdong accounted for 23.8% of total online retail sales – considerably higher than Zhejiang province, which came in at second place with 16.5%. 

Here is a countdown of China’s biggest spenders broken up by region:

10. Tianjin 1.9%
9. Anhui 2%
8. Sichuan 2.2%
7. Shandong 3.7%
6. Fujian 4.2%
5. Jiangsu 9%
4. Beijing 11.4%
3. Shanghai 11.6%
2. Zhejiang 16.5%
1. Guangdong 23.8%

Ecommerce sales were steadily growing in China and around the world long before the COVID-19 outbreak was reported in January. Meanwhile, brick and mortar stores in the Middle Kingdom were dealt a heavy blow by the pandemic. 

This past month, JD.com’s 618 Grand Promotion, a big-time online shopping event, showed consumer confidence in China has been relatively unfazed by COVID-19, boasting a 74% increase in sales during this year’s monthlong shopping event. 

While overall retail consumption was down 16.2% in the first quarter of 2020, ecommerce sales increased by 8.6% compared to the same period in 2019. Data from China’s National Bureau of Statistics indicates that online food sales jumped 32.7% from January to March this year.

An article by Technode exploring the impact of COVID-19 on China’s online retail sector shows that in mid-February – during the height of the coronavirus outbreak in China – Baidu searches for fresh produce and instant noodles soared 2,800% and 486%, respectively. Fresh produce delivery apps like Dingdong Produce, Meicai.com and Hema also made appearances in the top five most downloaded apps during the height of the lockdown in China.

[Cover image via @刘强东/Weibo]

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