Four Chinese eCommerce Companies Run 44 Percent Of Global eMarket

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Chinese ecommerce market is complex

The Chinese e-commerce market is complex, massive, and highly competitive. Its companies and their business models are somewhat different from those in other markets, and none of the big American and European players has any real presence. Total global e-commerce reached $3.4 trillion last year. More important is that this concentrates on just six companies. Four of those are Chinese. The biggest Chinese eCommerce companies with a percentage of the global e-commerce market are first with 15%, next with 14%, third with 9%, and forth Pinduoduo with 4%.

Chinese ecommerce market overview

For comparison, Amazon runs “only” 13% of the global e-commerce market. The Chinese e-commerce market is complex and made of a web of competitors and partners. However, just three companies dominate the sector. Alibaba,, and Pinduoduo control more than 80% of the market. They can be seen as the e-commerce arm of the Chinese New Silk Road initiative.

Covid-19 boosts e-commerce

COVID-19 stay-at-home orders were a huge boost for ecommerce in China as elsewhere. Chinese ecommerce companies have also adapted rapidly to the COVID-19 reality, accelerated by supporting government initiatives. For example, deployed autonomous vehicles to deliver essential medical supplies in Wuhan. And by launching new services such as contactless delivery to make it easier for consumers to continue shopping during lockdowns.

Interesting is that most of the e-commerce revenue is realized via marketplace sales and not via traditional retail. Marketplaces that connect buyers and sellers, enabling transactions between buyers and sellers for products that the retailers may never physically touch, or if they do, may never actually own.


Avatar for Yan Wang

Region manager of Icecat, MSc in Business Administration

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