China online shopping holiday
That would top the total of $1.25 billion that research firm comScore said U.S. online retailers took in last year on Cyber Monday and might make Singles Day the biggest e-commerce sales day on record.
The spending binge will be welcome news for communist leaders who want to shift the basis of growth in the world's second-largest economy from trade and investment to consumer spending and service industries. Weak global demand for Chinese exports has added to the urgency of ramping up domestic consumption.
China has the world's biggest population of Internet users, with 538 million people online. Its population of online shoppers also is the biggest at 193 million, versus 170 million for the United States, according to Boston Consulting Group. It trails the U.S. and Japan in online spending
but, despite average incomes less than one-tenth the American level, is forecast to rise to first place as early as 2015.
The Communist Party's latest five-year development plan calls for more than quadrupling annual e-commerce volume from 2010 levels to 18 trillion yuan ($2.9 trillion) by 2015. The party tries to block access to online material deemed subversive or pornographic but promotes Web use for business and education.
“The Internet today in China is similar to television in the 1960s and '70s in the West _ the place where consumers congregate and companies need to locate,'' Boston Consulting Group said in an April report.
Alibaba, founded by a former English
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