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Chinese online consumption soars over past five years: report

Updated: May 23,2016 8:05 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — Online shopping in China has soared over the past five years, becoming a key growth driver against downward economic pressure, a report showed.

The volume of total online purchases surged over 12 times from January 2011 to April 2016, while per capita consumption grew by 27 percent, according to a recent report released by Alibaba’s financial services platform Ant Financial and a private economics research institute.

The steady and strong growth of online shopping has helped stabilize economic growth and supported China’s transition from an investment-driven economy to one led by consumption, said Jia Kang, head of the China Academy of New Supply-side Economics.

Spending on food and restaurants, flights, education and other daily services posted average annual growth of more than 70 percent in the past five years, the report showed.

Residents in Beijing, Shanghai and Zhejiang showed higher spending on cosmetics, jewelry and entertainment, while remote provinces such as Hainan and Tibet also made the top 10 online spenders thanks to their growing demand for daily necessities amid rising incomes.

Consumption outperformed investment to become the top economic driver in 2011, and it contributed about 66.7 percent to China’s GDP in 2015, with about 29.1 percent of GDP growth coming from online consumption.