China's Online Shopping Boom May Surpass U.S. Internet Sales

According to a Bain report, online shopping will account for half of the country's total retail spending within a decade.

Chinese consumers are expected to spend more online than their American counterparts this year, according to a Reuters report on the country's e-commerce boom. Consulting firm Bain says that the growth within China is so steep—in the three years between 2009 and 2012, it averages out at 71%—that the online sector is expected to account for half of all retail sales within a decade. Last year, China's online spending was $212.4 billion, while its U.S. equivalent was $228.7 billion.

Part of the growth is due to the cost of physical retail, with the expense of the land and the labor needed to construct shops driving retailers onto the web. There remains, however, an issue with logistics on the Chinese mainland: The massive size of the country makes speedy delivery of goods a challenge.

The boom makes you wonder if Yahoo, which owns a 20% stake in Chinese e-commerce firm Alibaba, is regretting selling back part of its share to the firm last year.

[Image: Flickr user Michael Elleray]

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