B2B e-commerce sales reach $1.6 trillion in China in 2014

April 13, 2015 02:08 PM

Chinese business-to-business e-commerce transactions totaled about 10 trillion yuan ($1.61 trillion) in 2014, up 22% from the previous year, according to a report released recently by Chinese research organization China E-commerce Research Center (CECRC).

CECRC reports total Chinese online transactions grew by 31.4% to more than 13.4 trillion yuan ($2.16 trillion) last year, with online consumer transactions representing 3.4 trillion yuan ($550 billion) of the total. That includes about $450 billion in online retail sales and another $100 billion in other consumer services, such as buying Groupon-like vouchers for use in restaurants.  Although online retail is the fastest-growing sector, business-to-business e-commerce represents the majority of e-commerce sales in China by value. Transactions between companies account for about 75% of e-commerce in China, CECRC says.

With many Chinese companies exporting their goods, B2B is a large portion of Chinese cross-border e-commerce, which reached 4.2 trillion yuan ($680 billion) in 2014, up 33.3% from a year earlier. According to CECRC, B2B sales account for about 93.5% of Chinese cross border e-commerce volume. 

Technology upgrades on major B2B sites are contributing to the growth in e-commerce transactions between companies, says CECRC senior analyst Zhang Zhouping. “B2B sites are improving their online systems, including search engine algorithms, so that their clients could find their proper suppliers or business partners easier and quicker,” Zhang says.

The revenue of all Chinese B2B e-commerce sites reached 25.5 billion yuan ($4.11 billion) in 2014, up 24.4% year over year, CECRC says.

Here is CECRC’s estimate of the market share of top Chinese B2B e-commerce site operators:

Alibaba Group, 38.9%, 18.5%

Global Sources, 4.8%, 3.8%

Focus Technology, 2.0%, 1.4%, 0.6%

Other, 30.0% is a B2B web site that primarily handles domestic steel orders. The other top Chinese B2B sites mainly help Chinese suppliers connect with global clients, including online retailers in North America and Europe.    

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