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China’s E-commerce Market Potential

Updated: Feb 1, 2021

Looking back at 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic goes far beyond masks, hydro-alcoholic gels or lockdowns. It has also severely affected the global economy and financial markets. IMF estimates that the global economy shrunk by 4.4% in 2020. The decline has been described as the worst since the Great Depression of the 1930s. The only major economy that has seen growth in 2020 was China. It registered a growth of 2.3%. Although China has seen an economic decline of 6.8% in the first quarter of 2020, the economy quickly rebounded and growth remained positive throughout the rest of the three quarters – with a growth rate of 3.2%, 4.9% and 6.5%, respectively. The IMF predicts 5.2% of global growth in 2021, driven primarily by countries such as India and China. The two countries forecast to grow by 8.8% and 8.2% respectively.

(Source: IMF)

The figures speak for themselves the potential of China’s economy. Within the huge economy, e-commerce market accounts for 35% of the country’s total retail sales. China has the largest e-commerce market in the world, with a sales volume of 1.94 trillion USD in 2019. Despite the pandemic, the e-commerce market still reached around 16% of growth in 2020, and it’s estimated to continue growing in 2021 and onwards.

One of the main reasons for the rapid growth of China’s e-commerce market is that Chinese citizens are spending more time on mobile devices (smartphones and tablets, etc.). Social media platforms such as WeChat, Little Red Book, Douyin (or TikTok) have become an integral part of Chinese people’s lives. An average Chinese consumer now spends around 5 hours on their mobile devices compared to a global average of 3 hours.

(Data source:Tenba group)

The increased use of mobile devices and social media created social shopping, also known as social e-commerce. Nowadays, more and more consumers follow trends and have unplanned interactions with brand and retail experiences. As a result, social media platforms such as WeChat, Little Red Book (Xiao Hong Shu) and Douyin (Tiktok) all have opened up advertising channels. Ads posted on these sites have a wide variety of forms ranging from hard sells, soft sells, videos, images, user-generated content to name a few. And because these platforms have a huge amount of monthly active users (With WeChat having 1.2 billion, Douyin 800 million and Little Red Book 300 million), advertising on these platforms has a potential to reach millions. Click Here to check the details of Wechat Advertising formats and Little Red Book Advertising formats.

The pandemic only helped fuel the trend of mobile usage. People are spending more time than ever on their devices. Some online fashion and accessories brands even got away with being affected by the pandemic. For example, Vero Moda and Jack & Jones managed to exceed their offline sales in 2 weeks after launching a WeChat mini-program.

(Source: Tenba group)

Here at Jetek, we can help you post ads on all of these platforms (WeChat, Douyin, Xiao Hong Shu). Since we are an Authorised Ad Service Provider certified by Tencent Marketing Solution, we will work closely with you to come up with a strategy to manage your social media account. For example, regarding ads on WeChat, we can design the outer layer, landing page as well as write a catchy caption. In terms of Little Red Book (Xiao Hong Shu), we can help to do direct ad placement, or look for KOLs (Key Opinion Leader - also known as Wanghong) or KOCs (Key Opinion Customer) to design and post relevant information. User-generated content as such is more casual, friendly and can evoke a more positive emotional response.

In short, our mission is to help western brands promote and expand their market reach in China and around the world. We’ve helped more than 500 clients from Australia, New Zealand, US, Canada and more. Some of our clients include Virgin airlines, Penfolds, SK-II, Superdry etc. Click Here to discover more brands we worked with. We provide guaranteed results to our clients by putting KPI into the contract with confidence.

Below is an example with one of our clients – Flinders University. After posting the ad on WeChat moments, in 40 days, it gained 1.46 million exposures, 23,150 clicks, 679 followers and 66 leads.

Another example is with Virgin Airline. They are promoting discounted plane tickets during New Year’s time. Jetek decided that a WeChat moments promotion that screen for 24 hours would have the same effect as some week-long campaigns. Without surprise, within the 24-hour period, the campaign landed with over 96k exposures and 474 followers of Virgin Airline’s WeChat official account.

You can head to our website for more details of the above cases and many other case studies.

And If you would like to know more about WeChat/TikTok or Xiaohongshu Advertising, or need help with an Ad placement, feel free to contact us.

You are also more than welcome to visit our offices across Australia and America:


Sydney office

3/708 Mowbray Road, Lane Cove North, NSW, 2066

Adelaide office

3/19 Market Street, Adelaide, SA, 5000

Ph: 1300 058 588


Los Angeles office

16839 Gale Ave. # 104 City of Industry CA 91745

Ph: (909) 939-2862


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