China's online sales are projected to surpass those of the United States by 2015, according to a report by The Boston Consulting Group, as the growing number of urban dwellers and the adaptation of technology by the middle and upper classes sees China, "poised for an ecommerce explosion." The country is home to the largest population of Internet users in the world, an estimated 457 million, and has the second largest number of online shoppers behind the U.S. The ecommerce market has nearly quadrupled in two years, growing from RMB 128 billion in 2008 to RMB 476 billion in 2010. Boston Consulting Group estimates that number could reach more than RMB 2 trillion by 2015, potentially surpassing the U.S. market.
Largely due to government efforts to modernize the telecommunications infrastructure, affordable Internet access has led to the numbers of China's urban population shopping online to grow from less than ten percent in 2006 to 23 percent in 2010, and a predicted 44 percent by 2015. About 30 million consumers are expected to shop online for the first time each year through 2015, the report notes, and ecommerce will grow from 3.3 percent of China's total retail value in 2011 to 7.4 percent in 2015, a growth that took our country ten years to achieve.
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