Mobiles Overtake PCs in Online Shopping for First Time in China

Smartphones and tablets are becoming the preferred choices for Chinese consumers to do online shopping as the value of mobile sales for the first time exceeded the transactions made through personal computers in the Communist country, according to a report.

With the domestic smartphone makers expanding their offerings, the gadgets have become increasingly affordable and mobile Internet connections reaching 594 million.

Share of mobile sales in online sales nationwide gained 3.2 percentage points from the first quarter this year to 50.8 percent in the second, the first time more transactions occurred on mobile gadgets than on personal computer (PC), a report released by consultancy iResearch said.

China’s largest online retailers have been pushing for more sales of their mobile apps amid growing penetration of smartphones in the country.

More than 594 million people had access to mobile Internet by the end of the first half of this year, up 6.7 percent from the same period a year ago, according to China Internet Network Information Centre.

In August, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba said in its quarterly results ending June 30 this year that mobile transactions account for 55 percent of gross merchandise value on its online marketplaces and

Alibaba’s rival also said in its second quarter results that mobile orders nearly tripled year-on-year in that period to account for 47 percent of all orders.

Over the past two years, domestic smartphone makers Huawei, Xiaomi and Lenovo have been expanding their offering of budget phones, most with a price tag around CNY 1,000 (roughly Rs. 10,500).

This has made smartphones increasingly affordable, especially among rural Chinese, reported state-run Xinhua news agency quoting iResearch.

China’s online retail expanded nearly 40 percent year on year in the second quarter of this year to CNY 872.41 billion, accounting for 12.3 percent of total retail sales in the country.

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