(ATF) China’s e-commerce industry grew in 2019 despite mounting downward economic pressures and lingering trade tensions, according to a report from the Ministry of Commerce Wednesday.
China led the world in e-commerce, with about 51.26 million people employed in the sector in 2019, ministry data claims.
China's e-commerce transactions hit 34.81 trillion yuan ($4.9tn) last year, with online retail sales reaching 10.6tn yuan, up 16.5% year-on-year.
E-commerce has contributed a great deal in terms of "promoting consumption, stabilising foreign trade, alleviating poverty, and boosting employment," playing a key role in ensuring the country's development, the report said.
In 2019, online retail contributed 45.6% of growth in the country's total retail sales.
The report also said that China has established bilateral e-commerce cooperation mechanisms with 22 countries.
In addition, China approved 24 cross-border e-commerce pilot zones last year, bringing the total to 59. These pilot zones provide a streamlined system with simplified regulations for faster examination and approval, customs clearance, and easier information sharing for cross-border e-commerce imports and exports.
Since the start of the year, the e-commerce industry has played a prominent role in guaranteeing supplies, facilitating the resumption of work and stimulating consumption during and after the coronavirus epidemic, the report stated.
The ministry pledged more measures to promote the digitalisation of traditional industries and ensure the high-quality growth of the e-commerce sector.
China had more than 900 million internet users at the end of last year, with an internet penetration rate of 64.5%, according to the report.