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China Ecommerce 2019

Retail Ecommerce Stays Strong as Geopolitical and Economic Headwinds Dampen Overall Retail Sector

Global Ecommerce 2019

Forecasts for seven markets: US, Canada, China, France, Germany, Latin America, UK

See All
About This Report
Growth of retail sales in China is declining, due to economic and geopolitical challenges, and will not overtake the US until 2021. But retail ecommerce has continued to flourish in some surprising ways under these current circumstances.
Table of Contents

Executive Summary

While retail sales in China sputter in the face of economic and geopolitical challenges, ecommerce continues to thrive. Digital commerce players continue to innovate and recalibrate.

How much will retail sales in China grow in 2019?

Retail sales in China will grow 3.5% to $5.291 trillion this year. That’s considerably weaker than 2016’s growth rate of 10.4% and is a continuation of a slowdown that started in 2018. We forecast that growth will not see a rebound until 2021.

How much will consumers in China spend on retail ecommerce in 2019?

In 2019, retail ecommerce sales will expand 27.3%, reaching $1.935 trillion, or 36.6% of total retail sales. We forecast that retail ecommerce sales will maintain strong growth through the end of our forecast in 2023.

Which are the top retail ecommerce sites by sales in China?

Alibaba is the undisputed leader in 2019, taking in 55.9% of retail ecommerce sales. has a 16.7% share, while upstart Pinduoduo will grow much faster than any other site in the top 10.

What are the key drivers of retail ecommerce sales in China?

While digital buyer penetration is reaching saturation among younger demographics, it still has room to grow among consumers over 35. In rural areas and smaller cities, GDP is growing much faster than in the major city centers, and consumers there will continue to drive growth.

WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report features our latest forecasts for retail ecommerce, mcommerce, digital buyers and the top ecommerce sites in China—as well as the latest developments in retail, social commerce and consumer behavior.

KEY STAT: China’s retail ecommerce sales in 2019 will grow much faster than total retail, increasing 27.3% year over year to $1.935 trillion. By 2023, retail ecommerce sales will represent 63.9% of total retail sales.

What’s Inside:

Estimates are included for the following areas:

  • Total retail and ecommerce spending
  • Ecommerce by channel
  • Ecommerce by retailer
  • Digital buyer penetration and demographics

Here’s what’s in the full report


Exportable files for easy reading, analysis and sharing.


Reliable data in simple displays for presentations and quick decision making.

5expert perspectives

Insights from industry and company leaders.

Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. An Overview of Our Retail and Ecommerce Forecasts
  3. China’s Economic Challenges
  4. Mobile Continues to Be the Top Channel
  5. Alibaba and Lead in a Crowded Marketplace
  6. The Retreat of Amazon China
  1. Digital Shoppers and Buyers
  2. What’s Shaping Ecommerce in China in 2019?
  3. New Retail as the New Paradigm
  4. Social Commerce Platforms
  5. Over-the-Top Video Commerce
  6. Key Takeaways
  1. eMarketer Interviews
  2. Read Next
  3. Sources
  4. Media Gallery

Interviewed for This Report

Elena Gatti
Managing Director, DACH Region
Interviewed May 26, 2019
Frank Lavin
Export Now
CEO and Founder
Interviewed May 25, 2019
Miro Li
Double V. Consulting
Jeffrey Towson
Guanghua School of Management, Peking University
Professor of Investment
Interviewed May 26, 2019
Michael Zakkour
Tompkins International
Vice President, China/APAC and Global Ecommerce Practices
Interviewed May 28, 2019


Man-Chung Cheung


Andrew Lipsman
Principal Analyst
Monica Peart
Senior Director, Forecasting
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