The internet has become a critical element of China's economic progress in the past five years, accounting for seven percent of the world's second largest economy's gross domestic product (GDP) in 2014, a percentage point higher than the US, according to a media report.
China has exceeded the US to become the world's largest online retail market, it said as the online retail transactions reached 2.79 billion yuan (USD 439 million) in 2014, one of the key economic achievements of China's Internet development during the 12th Five-Year Plan period (2011-15).
However, according to US journal Statista, US online sales last years accounted to about USD 290 billion.
Commenting on China's progress,Qin An, a cyber-security expert at the China Institute for Innovation and Development strategy, told the Global Times that "China has followed the world's trend to become a leader in e-commerce thanks to its favourable policies and competitive enterprises."
According to media, there are so far 328 listed internet companies in China, whose total market cap reached 785 trillion yuan, accounting for 25.6 percent of the nation's market capitalisation. Four of them have made their way to the top 10 world Internet companies, including Alibaba.
In 2014, the number of online shoppers climbed to 361 million, representing 55.7 percent of the nation's shoppers.
Online shopping represents 20 percent of all consumer demand, the report said. For the first time mobile phones have become the most commonly-used platform to access the internet, followed by computers. Some 594 million people in China can access to the Internet through mobile phones.


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