Tuesday morning we learned about the online retail environment in China from Professor Zheng Qi. The number of people with access and ability to get online in 2010 in China was nearly 450 million people. This is greater than the entire population of the United States, however the total online retail sales in 2010 were only around $7.69 billion (USD). This shows the great market potential that still exists in China and will continue to rise, if not explode, in the next decade. At the end of 2010 there were just over 300 million mobile internet users in China which was up almost 70 million people since the end of 2009. The amount of people gaining access to the internet through computers and mobile devices is simple staggering.
An interesting detail in the data reveals that 35.7% of netizens in China have an education level of high school while those with a college degree only make up 11.8% of the netizens. When asked why this has occurred Professor Zheng Qi hypothesized that this was due to the fact that college is very expensive and difficult to get into for many citizens. The small number of college educated netizens is simply a reflection of the very limited number of people with the opportunity to pursue higher education after high school.