BEIJING — Online shopping is thriving in rural China, with last year’s transactions nearly double the 2014 amount, a Ministry of Commerce official said.
Online purchases in rural areas were up 96 percent year on year to 353 billion yuan ($55 billion) in 2015, said assistant minister of commerce Wang Bingnan, at a briefing.
China now has more than 3,000 commercial websites specifically targeting rural areas, Wang told reporters, but acknowledged that a lack of properly trained people, poor competitiveness, an incomplete marketplace and weak infrastructure were hindering expansion. The ministry hopes to improve the logistics network and train more people.
Despite an economic slowdown, online retail sales in China remained strong, jumping 33.3 percent year on year to 3.88 trillion yuan in 2015.