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E-commerce retail sales in China more than doubled from a year earlier to 211.8 billion yuan (NZ$42.3 billion) in the first half this year, along with the rapid expansion of e-shopping amid the government drive to make the economy more consumer-dependent, according to a report on ChinaDaily’s website.

Retail sales at e-shops more than tripled between 2007 and 2009, much faster than the averaged annualised 18% growth of retail sales in general during the same period, the report said, citing from the annual report on China’s Internet market released by Alibaba, the nation’s largest Nasdaq-listed e-commerce company Friday.

Total turnover of China’s e-commerce reached 3.8 trillion yuan last year, up 22% year-on-year, according to the data released by the Ministry of Commerce.

The Alibaba report said some 65 million Chinese individuals and 12 million enterprises had opened e-shops by the end of June.

At Taobao.com, China’s largest consumer auction site, some 70% of sellers are aged between 21 and 30.

The number of e-shoppers hit 142 million, or one third of the nation’s total online population, the world’s biggest.

“Consumers have adapted to e-shopping. They are taking advantage of low online prices and the expanding logistics network across the country,” Sheng Zhenzhong, senior analyst with Taobao’s research center was quoted saying.

E-commerce created more than 1.3 million jobs in the world’s most populous country last year, as e-shopping has become a new platform for Chinese start-ups.

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