Online Shopping Rises by 128.5 Percent in 2008

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Feb. 24 – Online shopping rose by 128.5 percent to reach RMB120 billion in 2008, according to a report made by research firm, iResearch and top shopping website,

The number of those registering online to shop grew to 120 million, an increase of 185 percent from the previous year.

The 2008 China Online Shopping Research Report said that more than 70 percent of the online shoppers came from secondary and tertiary cities.

The report is optimistic that the country’s online shopping activity will only continue to grow during the year as more Chinese companies shift to the local market because of slowing export demand.

It also helps that the use of credit cards is becoming more accepted. According to Shanghai Daily,  China had more than 104.73 million credit cards in circulation by the end of March 2008, a massive 92.9 percent compared to the previous year. Meanwhile, transactions that use bank cards accounted for 25.6 percent of the country’s total retail sales, up from last year’s 21.9 percent.

Credit card use  in China is forecast to expand by about 35 percent between 2008 and 2012.  The potential of the market has attracted foreign companies to also offer the same services. Last year, Hong Kong-based Bank of East Asia became the first foreign bank to issue a yuan denominated credit card in the mainland.