China’s B2B eCommerce industry has nabbed a lot of attention in recent years, thanks largely in part to the rise of Alibaba and its own B2B digital procurement efforts. But the latest data shows that the nation’s B2B eCommerce industry slipped in the first quarter of 2015, though it is unclear whether the figures are indicative of a continuing trend in downward B2B online sales.
According to reports from China Internet Watch – citing data from Analysis International – released Monday (May 18), the nation’s B2B eCommerce market reached a valuation of $883 million in Q1, up from about $680 million in the first quarter the year prior, but represented a 1.6 percent decrease quarter-over-quarter.
This decrease is not unusual, CIW said, as first quarter growth often slows when sales cycles and holiday purchasing figures are taken into account. But reports also note that import and export trading value slipped by 6 percent this quarter. According to analysis, China’s B2B trade is now increasing its dependence on cross-channel collaborations to remain competitive.
Statistics also revealed the sharp decline in B2B eCommerce sales between Q4 2014 and Q1 2015. According to reports, Q4 2014 saw a massive 14.8 percent quarter-over-quarter growth in the sector. Q1 2015 was also the first period in seven quarters to experience a decline in B2B eCommerce growth, though the sector has seen steady growth in overall revenue.
Unsurprisingly, the research found Alibaba maintains the top spot in B2B eCommerce with a 44.13 percent market share as of Q1 2015. That figure far surpasses the market share of the firm’s two closest competitors in the industry, HC360 with 4.86 percent market share, and Global Sources with 4.69 percent market share.
Despite the slip this past quarter, B2B online sales in China account for the majority of sales in the eCommerce industry. Research released last March by iResearch found that the nation’s eCommerce sector grew by 21.3 percent in 2014, and B2B sales account for the largest portion of the nearly $2 trillion in revenue. According to researchers, B2B online sales made up about 70 percent of all of 2014’s eCommerce in China.