The e-commerce sector has emerged as Beijing’s new growth engine, according to findings within the Third National Economic Census released on Dec 25.
They show online retail volumes generated in the capital city surging more than 10-fold over the past five years, while traditional retail sectors such as catering, hospitality and postal services expanded at a slower pace.
With China’s online retail market becoming gradually more sophisticated, many companies have sought to attract more customers by launching online stores.
The census shows that from January to November, online wholesalers and retailers in Beijing achieved sales worth 126.74 billion yuan ($20.4 billion), a 68.3 percent rise on the same period last year. Total Beijing online retail sales were worth 92.68 billion yuan in 2013, a huge increase from the 12 billion yuan sold in 2010, the report said.
Wu Wanbiao, deputy director of Beijing Municipal Bureau of Statistics, said structural changes are now taking place in the city’s economy that are offering companies the opportunity to transform and upgrade their operations.
Those changes are illustrated in recent figures which showed that modern manufacturing, for instance, saw total revenues hit 841.53 billion yuan last year, which delivered profits of 64.62 billion yuan. The sector is now growing at an annual rate of 10.7 percent, and has grown 23.2 percent over the past five years.
“In particular, automobile and pharmaceutical manufacturing led to outstanding revenue and profits growth, and big rises in employment,” said Wu.
The city’s service sector, too, converted rising investment into further economic opportunities, allowing it to generate higher levels of revenue over the past five years, strengthening its already strong position in the economy, said the report.
The finance, cultural, entertainment and sports, and technology services sectors also excelled by creating large numbers of new companies and jobs.
Xing Zhihong, assistant chief at the Beijing statistics bureau, said: “The service sectors that are capital-and technology-intensive, and the emerging sectors are going to continue to lead growth, further evidence of a profound structural upgrading in the overall Chinese economy.”