With the outbreak of the international financial crisis, many enterprises were in preparation for a “winter economy”.  However, in contrast E-commerce is presenting a booming prospect: In 2008, the total amount of China’s E-commerce transactions exceeded 3 trillion Yuan, increasing more than 40% year-on-year. In the third quarter of last year, buyers on the Alibaba’s global platform increased 1.2 million, equaling the whole quantity for the previous year. “The financial crisis provided a rare development opportunity for China’s E-commerce industry”, said Nie Linghai, deputy director of the information technology department in Ministry of Commerce.

E-commerce is now playing an increasingly important role in China’s commerce arena. Major E-commerce companies Alibaba, Dangdang and Zhouyue have all witnessed increasing annual volumes of transaction. These online business companies are holding leading positions in B2B, B2C and C2C markets respectively.

Looking back on the road of development, China’s E-commerce represented by Alibaba created a development path which was quite different from the West.  It was reported that US E-commerce was “business-driven” while Chinese E-commerce was more “technology-pulled”. In the US, enterprises’ business demand promoted the advancement of the Internet and E-commerce technology, forming the concept of E-commerce. In China, E-commerce started in 1997; the concept of E-commerce emerged earlier than its applications and development. The “torchbearers” of E-commerce practice were IT vendors like IBM. The Internet and E-commerce technology continued to be driven by enterprises’ business demands, which promoted the application and development of Chinese E-commerce. “It is inevitable for traditional enterprises to join E-commerce”, said Huang Yongtao, analyst from IDC. 

Against the backdrop of the international financial crisis, E-commerce has already become a safe harbor for small and medium-sized enterprises worldwide. Relevant statistics show that in the financial crisis, the proportion of non E-commerce enterprises that got into trouble reached 84.2%, while the ratio of E-commerce enterprises bogged down was only 16.8%, there was nearly 5 times difference between the two. The conditions of small and medium-sized enterprises in E-commerce were far better than traditional enterprises.

Compared to foreign countries, China is still on the initial stage in E-commerce. At present, measures such as business authentication, increasingly perfecting national and local electronic legislations, and the third-party custody of transaction payment as well as the mediation and arbitration on transaction disputes all contributed to the sound development of E-commerce.  As reported by People’s Daily Online