China announced a mere 6.7 percent economic growth in July 2018, the lowest growth rate since 2016. Despite a slowdown in overall economic growth, Chinese e-commerce has only increased, accounting for 40 percent of all worldwide e-commerce today, compared to a mere 20 percent of the global retail market just three years ago.
The fast-paced growth of the e-commerce sector in China can be seen through rapidly expanding companies such as Pinduoduo, which went through a $1.5 billion U.S. IPO in mid-July. However, why has e-commerce continued to grow despite an overall economic slowdown in conjunction with urban market saturation? The answer to this question lies in China’s rural areas, with its untouched older demographic, potential for infrastructure development and government-backed initiatives.