Experts say that China will surpass the U.S. in onlince commerce sometime around 2015.
BCG's new report says the number of internet users who have come online in China over the past four years is equal to the population of France, and that number will grow by the entire population of Canada in each of the next four.
“China is the first major nation in history to develop e-commerce before establishing a robust physical retail network,” said Jeff Walters, principal at BCG. “More products were purchased on Taobao in 2010 than at China’s top 5 brick-and-mortar retailers combined.”
In the rest of the world, the situation is dramatically reversed. Amazon had $34 billion in revenue in 2010. Wal-Mart? $405 billion. That’s why venture capitalist Hurst Lin of DCM says e-commerce is the Wal-Mart of China.
Many Chinese consumers are ‘leapfrogging’ retail stores for the web:
“Many consumers, especially in lower-tier cities and rural areas, began using mobile phones before landlines, thereby building up the habit of turning to their phones not just for communication but a also for entertainment and other activities that previously would have required a dial-up connection on a personal computer. Consumerism in China could develop similarly, skipping the usual stages of retail development and arriving directly at a heavy reliance on e-commerce–a pattern completely different from the experience of other developed countries.” [BCG report]
Here's the whole report: