Global online shopping benefits Chinese manufacturers
Updated: 2013-07-16 14:46
BEIJING - With just a few clicks on a shopping website, a Nigerian girl buys her favorite wig, to be delivered to her home several days later from China.
That was a scene shown Sunday by Chinese national broadcaster CCTV.
An African girl buying Chinese products on the Internet is, by no means, an isolated case. In fact, cross-border online shopping has become quite a frenzy in recent years.
Despite that, though, online sales of Chinese-made goods in foreign markets are still a new phenomenon and represent a strategic opportunity for China's giant manufacturing sector.
If the popularity of global online shopping continues to grow, it would provide a vital channel for China to sell more of its products to the rest of the world. In the long run, it may even reshape the face of global trade.
Overseas consumers can save a lot of money by purchasing quality goods from China via the Internet because the products are generally cheaper than their counterparts from elsewhere in the world.
This comparative advantage has made Chinese goods popular among online shoppers in Russia, Brazil, America and Europe. Chinese-made commodities such as clothes, suitcases, mobile phones and shoes are among the best-selling items.
In the larger picture, the trend may also help modify the unfair distribution of profits in global trade.
China has been the world's largest exporter since 2009. However, it receives only a small portion of the profits generated by goods that are domestically produced but sold through retailers in developed economies.
The situation may be corrected, though, if online shopping continues to prosper across the globe and the made-in-China label can be brought directly to individual consumers.
Global online shopping, however, is still in its infancy and its future is closely tied to the development of online payment mechanisms, cross-border deliveries and tax issues.
It is safe to say, meanwhile, that online shopping is a rising wave sweeping the globe. Online shopping boasts unprecedented vitality and its significant role for Chinese-made goods should not be underestimated.