China Cross-border E-commerce Market Tops 2.3 Tn Yuan in 2012

According to iResearch, the value of transactions in China cross-border e-commerce market reached 2.3 trillion Yuan in 2012, up 31.5% compared with 2011, occupying 9.5% of total imports and exports. China cross-border e-commerce market was still in the preliminary stage, with immature software and hardware condition. Besides, it was difficult for any party of the industrial chain to expand market due to the complex factors such as policy and legislation environment, business climate, capital market, cultural context, and acceptance of users and enterprises. Therefore, iResearch deems that with joint cooperation among the whole industrial chain, a top-down developmental strategy guided by policies is conducive to the industry’s rapid development.

Significance of Cross-border E-commerce

Based on the publicly available information released by National Bureau of Statistics, iResearch found China outmatched America by imports and exports in 2012 for the first time, becoming the country with the largest import and export market. Specifically, China’s imports and exports reached 12.3 trillion Yuan and 13.9 trillion Yuan respectively in 2012, up 8.6% YoY and 12.4% YoY respectively, while growth rate falling 10.9% and 2.8% respectively.

iResearch attributes the downfall of China’s imports and exports in 2012 to the following three factors. Firstly, demand of external market changed. Secondly, due to tremendous increase of asset price and basic cost such as Chinese labor, land, energy and resources, as well as continuous appreciation of RMB, comprehensive cost of Chinese export hence rose excessively. Consequently, the advantage of Chinese export was undermined. Thirdly, trade friction against China grew continuously.

Under this background, rapid development of cross-border e-commerce will bring far-reaching significance and great value for a sustained stable development of China import and export trade. On one hand, compared with traditional foreign trade, cross-border e-commerce can effectively condense the intermediate link, resolve excess capacity, rebuild internationally industry chain, promote transformation of foreign trade, and increase global competitiveness. On the other hand, e-commerce websites provide channels for the development of small and medium-sized enterprises thanks to their multiple advantages --- massive commodity information database, personalized ad push, smart commodity retrieval, word of mouth recommendation, and convenient payment mode. Besides, cross-border e-commerce was targeted at merchants and consumers from more than 200 countries and areas in the world; hence it had great market potential. Moreover, by the vigorous push of Chinese government and enterprises, cross-border e-commerce formed a clear and complete industry chain covering marketing, payment, logistics, and financial services, which laid the groundwork for further development of China cross-border e-commerce.

Great Potential of China Cross-Border E-commerce Market

According to the statistical data of iResearch, total value of import and export trade of China cross-border e-commerce market reached 2.3 trillion Yuan in 2012, up 31.5% YoY. However, in China’s total import and export trade, the share of cross-border e-commerce transactions was still quite small, only occupying 9.5%. iResearch predicts that value of China cross-border e-commerce transactions will take an increasingly large share in China import and export trade under the condition of continuously rapid growth. It is estimated to reach 6.4 trillion Yuan in 2016, with 18.5% share.

Seen from global market, with reinforced economic globalization, free trade and regional economic integration, as well as increasing bilateral and regional free trade agreements, international industry expanded from processing and manufacturing link to both ends of the industry chain, bringing opportunities to the expansion of Chinese industrial chain and optimization of resource distribution. Secondly, the procedure of industrialization and urbanization in emerging economies and developing countries was accelerated, and hence their economy was likely to keep a rapid development. This provided another support to China’s market expansion. Thirdly, scientific and technological innovation cultivated emerging industries, boosted industrial upgrading, promoted clarification of international division, pushed industrial trade development, and expanded global trade market.

Seen from China’s market, with obvious improvement of industrial system, infrastructure, labor quality and growing ability to scientific and technological innovation, comprehensive advantages of export industries was further enhanced. Secondly, upgrading of industrial chain and rising of people’s living standards drove the import of various means of production and life. Thirdly, rapid development of emerging strategic industries pushed the import and export of related products and technologies. Besides, the opening of specific market for foreign trade offered new room for the growth of foreign trade. Fourthly, since China mid-west development and border area’s opening were encouraged by the government, invest environment of mid-west areas and border regions became much better. As a result, their ability to draw investment and to transfer industry got lifted, which launched a new pad for the rapid development of import and export trade.

The information above is from iResearch’s newly released report on China cross-border e-commerce market from 2012 to 2013. This report covers the current status and profit mode of cross-border e-commerce market in China and worldwide respectively, as well as the current operating and major demand of representative enterprises of cross-border e-commerce. The report expounds the influence and value of cross-border e-commerce for China’s economic development, estimates the developmental trend of cross-border e-commerce industry, and figures out the existing problem in China cross-border e-commerce industry. Meanwhile, through survey on Chinese cross-border online shoppers’ basic features, online shopping behavior and preference, this report at last gave strategic suggestions on boosting the development of China cross-border e-commerce industry based on its current situation, developmental trend, problems and opportunities.



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