BEIJING — China’s online retail sales posted robust growth in the first quarter, reflecting a changing consumption pattern, official data showed.
Online retail volume reached over 1.4 trillion yuan ($200 billion) in the first three months of 2017, up 32.1 percent year on year and more than double the pace of total retail sales, data from the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) showed.
Online consumption of services such as tourism, dining and entertainment continued to rise, with sales of travel and take-away food rising by 64 percent and 163 percent respectively.
Chinese consumers spent more on high-end products such as upscale clothing, smart glasses and sensor-controlled vehicles.
Central and western regions posted stronger growth in online spending and online shoppers in third-and-fourth-tier cities. Rural areas also outperformed their counterparts in first-and-second-tier cities.
Alibaba and JD.com are expanding offline to improve the consumer experience with convenience stores as an emerging market, the MOC observed.