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Thursday, August 18, 2016, 09:53

Online purchases: Rural Chinese outpaces urbanites

By Xinhua
Online purchases: Rural Chinese outpaces urbanites
This Nov 23, 2012 photo shows an elderly student follows the instructions on her notes as she practices online shopping at Tianjin Senior Citizens' University in North China's Tianjin municipality. (Photo/Xinhua)

BEIJING – Growth in online retail purchases by China's rural residents outpaced that of urban dwellers in the second quarter, official data showed on Wednesday.

In the first six months, online retail sales to rural residents exceeded 310 billion yuan (46.9 billion US dollars), Shen Danyang, spokesperson of the Ministry of Commerce (MOC), said at a press briefing.

Rural online retail sales remarkably outstripped urban sales, he added.

MOC data showed that, in the second quarter, rural online sales grew by 13.48 percent from the first quarter. The growth rate was at least 4 percentage points higher than the growth in sales to urban residents.

In the first six months, purchases by rural residents accounted for 14.14 percent of the country's total online sales.

Shen noted the growth rate in rural areas in underdeveloped central and western regions stood at 24.57 percent, at least 10 percentage points higher than the growth registered in better-off rural areas.

Rural residents spent most of their money on clothing, shoes, home improvement and digital gadgets.

For online sales of services in rural areas, online travel booking contributed 44.54 billion yuan.

A report by the China Internet Network Information Center showed that, of China's 688 million Internet users as of the end of 2015, 195 million, or 28.4 percent, were rural residents.

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