The number of Chinese shopping online rose by 18.9% over the first six months, even as traditional retailers struggled to keep their customers amid the economic downturn.
Liu Bing, director of the internet development research department under the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) said the number of internet shoppers increased by 14 million to 87.88 million.
He said, "The growth rate remained level with the latter half of 2008, which was 18.5%. People seemed to realize the advantages of online shopping amid the economic downturn. It is cheaper and more convenient."
In January Taobao — China’s largest online shopping site founded in 2003 — reported an annual turnover of RMB99.96 billion ($14.52 billion) in 2008, double that of the previous year.
Liu Bing believed the biggest bottleneck was security risks. About 195 million internet users were targeted by computer viruses in the past half year and 110 million had their user names or identities stolen.
China Daily reported China’s internet users reached 338 million in June 2009, up 13.4% over the end of 2008. Worth noting, they accounted for just 25.5% of the population while South Korea reported 76.1%.