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Online shopping boom coming to Asian nations in 2011

07 January 2011 - 12:15 by Graham Miller

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While the UK and Europe have been home to safe shopping online for many years it looks like 2011 could see growth in Asia outstrip contemporaries to the west, according to figures from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

It is predicted by analysts that China will see the most significant growth over the next 12 months. There are two key factors set to fuel this growth, with rising average wages giving Chinese citizens access to more disposable income, while the wider availability of internet access is making e-commerce sites the first place many go to bag a bargain.

There are more than 420 million people with internet access in China and in 2011 this will increase further. As such, PwC is not farfetched in its assertions that e-commerce will thrive in 2011, bolstered by consumer confidence in online shopping.

Analysts said that there was a 60 per cent leap in the amount spent by Chinese consumers during the first half of 2010 when compared with spending levels in the previous year. A similar increase in 2011 would run into the tens of billions of pounds in revenue for retailers.

Japan is leading the Asian nations when it comes to safe shopping online and from a global perspective PwC believes that it is actually home to the best e-commerce industry of any international power.

All eyes are turned to Asia and in particular China. Recently social networking site Facebook announced that it was looking to spread itself into China, where it will compete with existing dominant services, in a fight for supremacy which it has won almost everywhere else.

Since Facebook is planning to start actively offering e-commerce tools to its users, this move is part of a wider strategy of expansion, as it looks to gain revenue from sources outside of advertising.