Implementation of the “Internet Plus” initiative in promoting the development of electronic commerce has become a trend and more innovative business models are seen in the area.
“Apart from traditional online retails, cross-border e-commerce, rural e-commerce and online services, the white-hot boom of the online to offline (O2O) models indicates that e-commerce has gone deep into traditional industries,” said Nie Linhai, deputy director-general of the department of electronic commerce and information at the Ministry of Commerce, during the 2015 China-Beijing e-commerce Conference (CECE) on Oct 12.
According to Nie, innovation has become the core-competiveness of every e-commerce enterprise and driven development.
Under the theme “Crossover and Integration via Internet Plus”, this year’s CECE showcases new products, services and business models in the development of domestic and cross-border e-commerce sectors.
China proposed its “Internet Plus” initiative in July to encourage the integration of the Internet into traditional sectors.
“In 2014, the volume of the nation’s information consumption scale hit 2.2 trillion yuan, up 18 percent year-on-year. Revenue growth of the Internet industry, which is closely related to the development of e-commerce, reached to more than 50 percent,” said Nie. “Total turnover of the e-commerce sector reached 16 trillion yuan in 2014, and online retail sales volume hit 2.8 trillion yuan, 170 times growth in ten years.”
“72 percent of Beijing’s economic growth in the last year came from consumption and 80 percent of the volume is from e-commerce,” said Cheng Hong, vice-mayor of Beijing. “E-commerce is not only the new engine for Beijing’s consumption growth but also a trigger boosting the entire economics of the city.”
Cheng pointed out that Beijing has been a pioneer for the establishment of e-commerce and an inspiration for venture capital, private equity and industrial investment funds.
Daxing district in Beijing, signed a comprehensive strategic cooperation agreement on e-commerce with Langfang, a prefecture-level city in Hebei province, during the conference.
In the first four months of this year, 26 e-commerce enterprises settled in Beijing’s Daxing district, which was named Central E-Commerce District last year.
According to data from china.org.cn, in 2014, total operating revenue of e-commerce enterprises in Daxing hit 79.26 billion yuan, 15.3 percent higher than previously. Online retail revenue in Beijing was 145.7 billion yuan last year, while the revenue in Daxing was 58.4 billion yuan, 31 percent higher than earlier, accounting for 40.1 percent of total e-commerce revenue in Beijing.
Liu Qiangdong, founder and chairman of e-commerce giant JD.com, introduced the company’s three strategies in implementing the “Internet Plus” initiative, which are “Internet plus finance”, “Internet plus rural e-commerce” and “Internet plus cross-border e-commerce”.
Since 2014, JD.com has started to accelerate its globalization process and drawn up a detailed cross-border import and export business development plan.
On April 15, JD launched its cross-border e-commerce platform — JD Worldwide, aimed at feeding domestic consumers’ demand for authentic imported products. Currently, five online malls are on the platform, France, South Korea, Japan, Australia and America, have been launched so far, and more international brands and malls will be introduced as the business grows.
“We’re always exploring our consumers’ needs, making friends with our users and promoting our products on social media platforms,” said Lin Bin, president and co-founder of Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi. “We are digging our users’ real inquiries via the Internet.”
Lin also shared Xiaomi’s view on “normalized e-commerce” and the establishment process of Xiaomi site 2.0 during the event.
Ablikim Ablimit, Le Holdings’ vice president of strategic planning and management and director of the president’s office, and Niu Yinghua, vice president of Amazon China also brought their take on the companies’ implementation of the “Internet Plus”.
According to statistics from iResearch Consulting Group, a Beijing-based market research and consulting firm, total trade volume of China’s e-commerce sector reached to 3.48 trillion yuan in the first quarter of this year, down 10.1 percent compared to the previous quarter, but up 23.8 percent year-on-year.
“The first quarter is the traditional slack season for China’s trade business, the quarter on quarter decline of business to business (B2B) and online shopping in the e-commerce sector caused the slide trend of the overall volume. China’s e-commerce market has entered into its maturation period,” said iResearch.
CECE is jointly organized by Beijing e-commerce Association and Beijing International Fair for Trade in Services, sponsored by Beijing Municipal Commission of Commerce and supported by the Ministry of Commerce and the People’s Government of Beijing.
It has been held four times in Beijing since 2011, and has become one of the most influential events in China’s e-commerce sector.