Social e-commerce shows great potential


The value of China’s social e-commerce reached 1.2 trillion yuan in 2018, accounting for 14 percent of the country’s online retail market, according to a report released by the Internet Society of China in July.

The market scale is expected to reach 2 trillion yuan in 2019, an increase of 63.2 percent year-on-year, said the report.

Social e-commerce is a subset of e-commerce that involves using social media to assist in the online buying and selling of products and services.

An online consumer, who prefers to buy daily necessities on the e-commerce platform Pinduoduo, said she saves money by using discounts offered by the platform or inviting friends to help cut prices.

The report said that the number of consumers engaged in social e-commerce reached 500 million in 2019.

Since last year, many social e-commerce enterprises such as Pinduoduo and Yunji have completed initial public offerings. Meanwhile, traditional e-commerce companies like Jing Dong and Taobao started to introduce social e-commerce services.

It is a trend that traditional e-commerce gradually develops into social e-commerce, said Cheng Xusen, a professor in information management and e-commerce with the University of International Business and Economics.

Social e-commerce is more user-oriented, said Cheng. He believes the user networks enable products to be accurately directed to consumers with strong purchasing power.