I've seen lots of graphs showing ecommerce growth in China, and separate graphs showing ecommerce growth in western countries, but I haven't really seen anything that puts the two in some sort of context. As I'm doing some research for the next edition of The Multichannel Retail Handbook at the moment, I happen to have been able to take the opportunity to set UK and Chinese official statistics side by side.
And here's the picture:
1. Chinese retail as a whole is growing roughly as quickly as online retail in the UK. (CAGR of ~15%)
2. Chinese online retail is growing 4x faster than UK online retail (CAGR of ~60%)
Impressive stuff, a nice to see the on-the-ground impression confirmed in a side-by-side comparison. You can draw your own conclusions about whether China, despite its apparent recent economic wobble, is an interesting place to target online for retailers.
Data sources: UK Office of National Statistics, National Bureau of Statistics of China
Incidentally since the graph is inevitably a bit squeezed out for the slower growing lines, here's the same data with a logarithmic scale: