Mobile Commerce Rising Rapidly In China

- Updated January 17, 2012

Mobile e-commerce is taking off rapidly in China, according to a report released Oct. 26 by the Beijing-based iResearch Consulting Group.

China’s total mobile market, including not only e-commerce but also games, advertising and other value-added services, reached 10.83 billion yuan (US $1.7 billion or 1.2 billion euros) in the third quarter of this year, an increase of 154.8% from 4.25 billion yuan a year earlier, the company said.

The mobile-commerce share of that total grew as well, to 34.8%, or 3.77 billion yuan, from 15.8%, or 671 million yuan–more than a five-fold increase in spending.

But the total still is relatively small when compared with mobile commerce’s potential, iResearch analyst Weidong Wang tells PaymentsSource.

China has 320 million mobile Internet users, according to iResearch. “The future market demand for mobile payments is immeasurable,” iReseach analyst Du Feng said in another report released Oct. 20.

The mobile Internet is becoming increasingly popular with Chinese consumers, who value its convenience. In addition, various industry players are promoting its growth, including mobile telephone companies, payment processors, banks and online retailers, Wang says.

“And e-commerce mobile payments are only one of the factors contributing to the growth of the mobile-payments sector,” Wang adds. “With the rise of mobile-payment technology, the rapid deployment of mobile payments will become a new growth are for the industry.”

However, the industry must address a number of issues before that happens, including security, contactless payment standards, and consumers’ habits of using cash and bankcards when shopping instead of their phones, he adds.

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