China Internet Shoppers Soar Rapidly

According to a report by The Standard, the number of mainland Chinese consumers using the Internet to shop or make bookings has increased significantly.

Commerce on the internet in China is expanding rapidly, with spending up nearly 60 percent in the first half of the year.

Chinese internet users spent 256.1 billion yuan (HK$291.9 billion) in the first six months. That was an increase of 58.2 percent from the same period in 2007, according to research institute Data Centre of China Internet.

Spending online for all of 2008 is expected to hit 587.4 billion yuan. That would be up 47.3 percent from the previous year, the Beijing-based agency said.

During the first six months of the year, Chinese spent an average of 211.8 yuan each month through the internet, up 13.9 percent from a year earlier.

China’s online population became the largest in the world after it reached 221 million in February, outnumbering internet users in the United States, according to reports in the Chinese press.

According to the research institute, China’s internet users will top 263 million by the end of 2008 – a rise of 25 percent on last year.