China to surpass the U.S. as the world’s biggest retail market

“China will dethrone the current leader, the US to become the world’s biggest retail market in 2016 with total sales of $4.886 trillion as against $4.823 trillion in the US,” says an Emarketer report released on Monday.

The Asian country will also remain the globe’s largest retail ecommerce market with sales forecast to be above $899.09 billion in 2015 or 47.0 per cent of worldwide online retail sales.

According to Emarketer, the New York based research company, China which has one of the most developed ecommerce markets, online purchases will account for 18.4 per cent of the country’s total retail sales this year, the highest worldwide.

The research agency also expects retail ecommerce sales in China to reach $2.416 trillion in 2020, of which purchases through mobile will account for 68 per cent.

Emarketer attributed the ecommerce boom in China in part to online marketplaces like Alibaba, Tmall and, which took advantage of the country’s undeveloped traditional retail infrastructure.

“Alibaba, Tmall and positioned themselves well to capitalise on growing consumer demand by creating their own payment systems,” Emarketer forecasting director Monica Peart said.

“In addition, with rising incomes and increased internet access in rural areas, the cultural appetite to shop digitally will continue and we can expect to see further growth in mobile spend,” Peart observed.

Burberry Beijing