Growing wealth, changing tastes and a relaxation of customs rules could bring a massive boom in China’s cross-border e-commerce in the coming years, a new study says. The report, by China’s biggest e-commerce company Alibaba, and consultancy Accenture, predicted that the nation’s annual e-commerce imports and exports would increase more than ten-fold in the next five years, to reach US$ 245 billion by 2020.
The report came on the day the Canadian government signed a cooperation agreement with Yihaodian.com, one of China’s biggest online supermarkets. The Shanghai-based retailer, which is 51 per cent owned by Walmart Stores, Inc., has set up a special channel to sell over 500 types of fresh Canadian food online, according to The Global Times. The Shanghai Daily predicted that lobster, fresh meat and canola oil would be among the top sellers.
Such deals are becoming increasingly common, in a country where consumer tastes are growing more diverse — and where concerns about the safety of domestically produced food have made imported products ever-more popular.