Selling online in China

United_Kingdom_128  China
China is a huge consumer market with a well established ecommerce sector. With a population of 1,415,045,928, China has an average annual per capita ecommerce spend of $1,100 which is below the european average of $2,594.
Top sites
1. Tmall
3. Suning
5. Gome
Top online payment methods
1. Alipay
2. WeChat Wallet
3. Digital payment via credit card
Country Profile
Population 1,415,045,928
Language(s) spoken Standard Chinese
Currency Renminbi
GDP based on purchasing power parity (PPP) 23,159,107
Nominal GDP 12,014,610
GDP growth rate 6.70%
Number of Internet users 721,434,547
Internet penetration 52.20%
Learn more about selling in China.

Ecommerce facts & tips on selling in China

China is a huge consumer market with a well established ecommerce sector. With a population of 1,415,045,928, China has an average annual per capita ecommerce spend of $1,100 which is below the european average of $2,594.

Top ecommerce sites

The top ecommerce sites in China are Tmall, and Suning. Other top retail sites include, Gome, Yihaodian,, Dangdang, Jumei and others. It’s worth checking out these popular sites to see which ones might best suit your product in terms of traffic volume, competition and the type of ecommerce buyers that they attract.To learn how to expand in this market, download our Internal growth eBook.

Popular products

The top products and categories for China ecommerce buyers include household essentials, alcohol, consumer electronics, home appliances and office supplies. Offering products from these categories may help you establish your presence on China ecommerce market and give you a headstart. Discover your product feed’s international potential.

Payment methods

The top online payment methods in China include Alipay, WeChat Wallet and digital payment via credit card. It’s important to provide your (potential) customers with payment methods of their preference, not supporting common payment methods in a given market will immediately exclude a certain proportion of that market. In many cases, if online shoppers can’t find their preferred or trusted methods of payment during checkout, they will abandon the shopping cart entirely.

Your site’s checkout is the most important and most sensitive part of your buying funnel. Optimizing your checkout for your customers, particularly your international ones, will have a huge impact on your conversion rate. Make sure you provide local payment options, currency conversion and appropriate, cost effective, and timely, local shipping methods.

Mobile commerce

For B2C online purchases particularly, mobile ecommerce now makes up a significant proportion of China ecommerce market and within the next 12 months is likely to surpass desktop usage. Ecommerce merchants should bear this in mind when setting up their online stores and product listings. Mobile optimization and a great mobile buying experience is no longer a ‘nice to have’, it must be core to your broader ecommerce strategy.

Digital marketing and SEO

To drive China traffic to your website, local marketing & SEO will be essential, however, in order to do this effectively you will need to localize your store for China market. Having a localized version of your store, in Renminbi (RMB) and in standard Chinese will enable you to have your store indexed in China search engines and in order to generate free organic traffic. Another great and highly effective way to generate good quality, qualified traffic, is Google Ads. To learn more about global traffic growth, download our free international SEO eBook.
Another great and highly effective way to generate good quality, qualified traffic, is Google Ads. Glopal provides a simple & fully managed ecommerce solution that connects your existing Google Shopping product feeds with buyers worldwide, growing your sales instantly. Glopal also handles all components of localization required to use Google Shopping in China. Not sure about your international marketing potential? Use our free Google Shopping grader.


China has a sophisticated and efficient ecommerce industry and to compete effectively it is essential that you are able to offer cost effective and timely local shipping options. The easiest way to provide a reliable and secure local shipping service in a new market is often to use an international parcel forwarding service.

Customs, Tax & Duties

In order to ensure a seamless buying experience and reliable delivery times for China buyers it is a good idea to consider calculating and displaying all local taxes and duties up front. This involves assigning relevant HS codes to all your products and then using those to calculate the taxes and duties that need to be applied to a specific product. This is an arduous manual task, but can be automated using Glopal’s HS Classification tool.

China: General Information

Selling in China is a great option for growth-minded online merchants. When you launch your store in a new market, there are a number of useful facts and data that you should consider.

There are 721,434,547 Internet users in China and Internet penetration amounts to 52.20%. In terms of device usage, there are 717,310,000 smartphone users and smartphone penetration amounts to 51.70%. On a global scale, smartphones are being more and more widely used for digital purchases.

Population & language

The total population of China is 1,415,045,928. The median age is 37.4. The language spoken in China is Standard Chinese and the currency is Renminbi. The country code top-level domain is .cn and calling code +86.

The economy

According to the International Monetary Fund, GDP based on purchasing power parity (PPP) is 23,159,107 (millions of Current Int$) and nominal GDP is 12,014,610 (US$MM). GDP (PPP) per capita is 16,624 Int$ and GDP (nominal) per capita is 8,643 US$. Real GDP growth rate is 6.70%.

International ecommerce sales potential

Selling in China is worth considering for many international ecommerce merchants. It’s a large and active consumer market. If you’re already selling into China, you may be happy with your sales figures. However, you may have noticed that your China, and your international traffic in general, converts at a much lower conversion rate than your domestic traffic, even in markets that share the same language.

The likely reason for this is that, even if your site and product descriptions are in the same language, you may not have addressed many of the other components of localization, that will impact conversion rate.

‍ A fully localized buying experience should address:

  • Ecommerce-optimized translation
  • Local marketing & SEO
  • Size & Currency conversion
  • International payment methods
  • Local shipping options
  • Tax & duties
  • Legals and local compliance
  • Local product restrictions


Online retailers used to do a great deal of manual work to expand globally, managing translation manually, matching product categories, attributes, sizes, etc.

Luckily, thanks to the developments in machine learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI), online merchants no longer have to spend time on ecommerce translation & localization when launching their stores abroad.

Machine learning technologies now provide automated translation, extract attributes, convert sizes and map the right category in an accurate, efficient and consistent way. To learn more about our cross border solutions, contact us.

Sell in the China: Translate & localize your online store with Glopal

Sell with Glopal to reach new customers worldwide. Using powerful localization features, Glopal enables merchants to sell their products to global buyers in their language and currency.

Our Plug & Play solution takes 15 mins to install and is available for Magento, Shopify, BigCommerce and Salesforce Commerce Cloud.  Custom integrations are available on our enterprise plan for other platforms.