With China adopting a new strategy – ‘Internet Plus’ – to integrate big data, the Internet and other unconventional technologies with traditional sectors such as retail, the e-commerce sector has emerged as the biggest beneficiary. This use of technology and electronics-integrated approach is expected to intensify in the future as the government is looking at the internet as the key means to bring about more spending, and consequently jobs.
The Chinese government wants to encourage government spending so it becomes a central part of its overall economy. However, with physical retail infrastructure being absent in several remote locations, the development of the e-tailing and e-commerce sector will offset the impact of this disadvantage. Many millennials are regular users of websites to purchase their everyday essentials – from food to clothes to computer hardware and software, the young buyers prefer shopping at a click.
According to retail sector specialist Professor Xiangdong Liu, China’s official data reveals that in 2014, China’s online sales totaled 2.79 trillion yuan. This is much higher than the U.S. He feels that with the government focusing more intensely on the Internet, the e-commerce sector in China will be encouraged further.
The Chinese government has said that its focus will be on boosting electronics- and internet-related infrastructure. This will help by making online surfing cheaper. With a little nudge from the government, the companies are expected to get the encouragement they need to invest more in the electronics and internet sector.
According to Liu, the strategy of the Chinese government is to first let companies in this arena mature, and then introduce certain policies to encourage them. Change on this front is already visible, with electronics giants such as GOME further strengthening their online presence. GOME, for instance, launched its online store a few years ago in 2011 and now features a mobile platform and mobile application for its web store, managing to get about 10% of all sales from the online arena.