Home to more than a billion people, China is experiencing a manufacturing boom thanks to its burgeoning e-commerce market. The country is home to more than 700 million Internet users and accounts for more than 40 percent of the worldwide retail e-commerce market. Its mobile payment market is 11 times bigger than that of the US.
The e-commerce market is also changing lives in China, particularly by providing more job opportunities for those living in the countryside. Even some of the poorest villages are benefiting from it.
Thriving E-commerce market makes millionaires
One example is the town of Shaji located in the eastern province of Jiangsu. A town which once solely relied on farming for the livelihood of its people, Shaji is now among the many areas where workers manufacture and complete products that would be sold online.
Cheng Huiabao is one of the fortunate Chinese merchants cashing in on the robust economic activity. A high school graduate, he once worked in an electronics production firm before selling home appliances. In 2010, he started making bunk beds for children which he sold on the website Taobao.
His choice of product sold online was very wise, as the country had relaxed its one-child policy in 2016. Bunk beds suddenly became a hot commodity online. His business has become successful that he is now worth 20 million yuan or around $3 million. He has an Audi and Mercedes-Benz outside a factory that employs 200 personnel.
Red-letter day for Chinese e-commerce market
Huiabao and other online merchants look forward to November 11, the so-called Singles Day which is the biggest e-commerce day for the year in China. It is China’s answer to the Black Friday shopping spree in the US, a day when Chinese consumers can find the best deals particularly on smartphones—arguably the most in-demand product in the country.