Business / Gadgets

Mobile Internet to boost online sales

By Meng Jing (China Daily) Updated: 2014-01-22 14:31

Mobile Internet to boost online sales

Online shoppers purchased 5.35 billion yuan ($882.75 million) of goods on Taobao, whose staffers are shown above, and Tmall through mobile phones during the Nov 11 shopping festival last year. Shi Jianxue / for China Daily, a Chinese online supermarket that is majority-owned by Wal-Mart Stores Inc, is obviously keen to attract more customers to use its app by offering various discounts for those who shop using mobile phones.

This year, is expected to take the game to the next level by further investing in its mobile e-commerce sector because the company's Chairman Yu Gang sees mobile Internet as the future of e-commerce.

"Mobile Internet will completely change the traditional retail industry. It is not a simple evolution but a revolution in e-commerce," Yu said, adding that shopping using mobile devices will become the mainstream of e-commerce in China in the next five years.

Yu is not the only one betting the company's future is in mobile e-commerce. China's Internet giants, such as Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and Tencent Holdings Ltd, have been making aggressive moves to expand their territory in the mobile Internet sector.

In August, Tencent launched WeChat 5.0, a mobile social networking application that, for the first time, integrated a payment function, enabling the app's more than 400 million users to make purchases on several e-commerce platforms.

To defend its territory, Alibaba in October even announced an all-in strategy to make the mobile sector the top priority of the company. Apart from launching Laiwang, a mobile chatting app that shares similar features to WeChat, Alibaba has also offered various incentives to encourage customers to shop using mobile devices.

The attractive incentives, including free data packages and coupons, have successfully pushed online shoppers from laptops to mobile phones. Online shoppers purchased about 5.35 billion yuan ($882.75 million) of goods on Taobao and Tmall, Alibaba's two main platforms, through their mobile phones on the Nov 11 shopping festival last year. The total transaction is more than five times the amount generated by mobile devices on the same day the previous year, said the company.

Analysys International, an IT consultancy, said in October China's mobile phone shopping market surged 104 percent year-on-year to 34.12 billion yuan in the third quarter.

The surge came amid the rapid dissemination of smartphones in China. The nation's smartphone market is now the world's largest. More than 450 million units are expected to be shipped in 2014, according to a September report by International Data Corp.

In addition, after China issued 4G licenses in December 2013, more people are expected to shop using their mobile devices in the coming year, thanks to the faster networks they provide, said Zhang Yanan, an analyst from IDC Market Research.

"Mobile e-commerce accounted for about 9.2 percent of the overall e-commerce market in China last year. Its share is expected to double to nearly 20 percent in 2016," said Yu from

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