BEIJING — China’s online retail trade now ranks first in the world and the number of Internet shoppers has surpassed 360 million, the China Internet Network Information Center reported on Oct 29.
The Internet has been a boon to China’s economy, contributing 7 percent to the country’s GDP last year, said the center’s report, which reviewed the Web industry’s influence on the economy over the past five years.
Retail trade online more than doubled to 2.79 trillion yuan ($438 billion) in 2014, the report said, pushing China past the United States as the biggest online market in the world.
Sales in the electronics industry, which includes smartphones and cloud storage services, also were driven by the Internet from 2011 to 2014, the report said.
Mobile networks have taken the place of computers as the entry point for users surfing the Web over the past five years. By 2014, China had 594 million netizens using mobile networks, up nearly 90 percent year-on-year, it said.
The report also noted there are currently more than 4 million application stores, helping users to shop, search and book tickets through their mobile terminals.