HANGZHOU, Aug. 28 (Xinhua) -- China's e-commerce market grew strongly in the first half of the year as more businesses and people turn to online shopping, showed a report released Wednesday.
E-commerce in the world's second-largest economy reached 4.35 trillion yuan (705 billion U.S. dollars) in the January-June period, up 24.3 percent from a year earlier, the China e-Business Research Center said in a report.
Business-to-business (B2B) was up 15.3 percent year-on-year, at 3.4 trillion yuan. The online retail sales, which include business-to-consumer (B2C) and consumer-to-consumer (C2C) rose 47.3 percent to 754.2 billion yuan. Online retail sales for the year could reach 1.74 trillion yuan.
Due to weak global demand for Chinese goods, many small and medium-sized companies are expanding in the domestic market, said Cao Lei, head of the research center.
Authorities in many regions have encouraged businesses to turn to e-commerce, Cao said.
Guangdong, Zhejiang and Beijing ranked the top three among all provincial-level regions with the largest number of firms engaged in e-commerce.
China's e-commerce sector has a workforce of 2.2 million and it has created jobs for more than 16 million in related sectors.