RETAIL | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Asia e-commerce market projected to grow to US$1.6t in 2021

India is a market to watch out for with a projected value of US$82.7b.

With Asia’s highly-developed retail market and the entry of several players in the online retail scene, it comes as no surprise that the e-commerce space is projected to expand to US$1.601t in 2021, according to BMI Research estimates.

Five markets stand out in the e-commerce landscape account for 92.9% of total sales in 2016 and projected to generate a total value of US$1.601t in 2021.

China’s e-commerce sales which hit US$494.2b is projected to grow by an average annual growth of 16.1% to US$1.122t in 2021.

BMI Research notes that the market will likely be over-crowded due to entry of new players but Alibaba will continue to be a major force in China’s online retail scene.

Japan, on the other hand, is weighed down by its massive public debt. Its e-commerce sales forecast therefore is more muted although it remains positive from US$130.2b which is projected to grow 6.6% on average through 2021 to total US$189.6b.

Taiwan recorded e-commerce sales worth US$32.88b in 2016 which will soar to US$52.66b in 2021, thanks to the strong market presence of domestic players. This may be due to government amendments to value-added tax system that benefits local companies over international brands.

South Korea trails closely with sales of US$28.95b in 2016 which is set to rise at an annual 11.9% rate to US$50.7b in 2021. Its growth is thanks to mobile-optimised social media and marketing platforms.

BMI Research however notes that India is the market to watch out for as it is projected to move from posting $35.62m in e-commerce sales to rise US$82.7b in 2021, clinching the third place in terms of market share. 

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