China becomes world's biggest importer of e-commerce goods
China has become the world's biggest importer of e-commerce goods, with the population of cross-border e-commerce consumers increasing by 10 times over the past three years, a study said, according to a report by thepaper.cn.
The study, released by China Chamber of International Commerce, Deloitte and AliResearch on Wednesday, showed China's consumption growth has promoted sustainable development of import business and the post-'90s and '95s consumers have become the largest consumers of imported goods.
The penetration rate of China's cross-border e-commerce retail import, which refers to the proportion of people buying imported goods through cross-border e-commerce platforms, rose from 1.6 percent in 2014 to 10.2 percent last year, the report said.
The number of consumers at Tmall Global, the cross-border e-commerce site of Alibaba Group, increased 10 times from 2014 to last year.
In addition, the site introduced nearly 19,000 overseas brands from 3,900 categories in 75 countries into the Chinese market over the past four years, more than 80 percent of which entered China for the first time.
Imports of personal care products, clocks, clothing, home furnishing, food, cultural and educational goods grew in different degree last year, of which imports on personal care products and milk powder increased 48.6 percent and 40.4 percent respectively.
The report showed the European Union, the United States ASEAN, Japan, New Zealand and Australia are the main suppliers of imported consumer goods to China, with consumer goods imported from the EU amounting to 4.36 trillion yuan (625.8 billion U.S. dollars) last year, accounting for 39.7 percent of China's total consumer goods imports, the largest share.
In recent years, China's imported consumer goods tax cuts have intensified, with the average tax rate reducing to 6.9 percent in July 2018. At the same time, the average time of goods receipt under the retail import bonded model was shortened from 9.2 days in 2014 to 4.5 days in 2017, which doubled the efficiency, according to the report.
"China is becoming one of the largest consumer markets in the world, and this huge consumer market is still opening up. On the one hand, China's tax cuts on imported consumer goods are increasing, on the other hand, China's policy continues to encourage cross-border import e-commerce and other new forms of business," Gao Hongbing, president of AliResearch, said.
Despite the impact on the multilateral trading system and rising unilateralism and protectionism, economic globalization is still an irreversible trend in the current environment, Yu Min, head of the secretariat of ICC China, said.
Yu said the average annual growth rate of China's imports of goods reached 13.5 percent from 2001 to 2017, 6.9 percentage points higher than the global average. And the country has become the world's second-largest importer, with the imports of goods reaching 20 trillion U.S. dollars and the growth rate of trade in service reaching 16.7 percent, accounting for nearly 10 percent of the total imports of global trade in services.