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Taiwan e-commerce survey shows strong growth in sector

2018/05/19 17:00:43

Taipei, May 19 (CNA) Taiwan's e-commerce sector saw revenue soar 74 percent between 2011 and 2016 to over NT$3.5 trillion (about US$117 billion) because of the growing range of apps and an explosion in mobile device numbers, a government survey conducted every five years has found.

Data for the five-year period released on Thursday showed e-commerce revenue at NT$3.54 trillion in 2016, up 73.8 percent from 2011, according to the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS).

The revenue figure was also 11.4 percent higher than in 2015, pointing to rapid growth in transactions through the Internet rather than brick and mortar channels.

The DGBAS conducts a survey on business activity in the local industrial and service sectors every five years.

The 2016 data came after the latest five-year general survey, while the 2015 data came from a random survey that was revised with the help of the 2016 general survey.

E-commerce sales in 2016 represented about 5.8 percent of the total revenue generated by the local manufacturing and service sectors, the DGBAS said.

The manufacturing sector accounted for 73.7 percent of total e-commerce sales in 2016, mainly through business-to-business (B2B) sales, while the service sector made up the remaining 26.3 percent.

Lin Yu-shu (林玉樹), a section chief of the DGBAS's Census Department, said many Taiwanese manufacturers now engage in B2B transactions, which is why their online revenues overwhelmed those of service businesses that mostly focus on consumers.

Manufacturers have adopted an electronic data interchange that enables the computer-to-computer exchange of business documents in an electronic format to facilitate their online transactions, Lin said.

B2B online transactions totaled NT$3.01 trillion in 2016, while revenue generated through B2C (business to consumers) online transactions totaled NT$525.74 billion.

But e-commerce revenue in the service sector grew 97.8 percent over the five-year period to NT$931.4 billion in 2016, considerably faster than the 66.5 percent e-commerce growth to NT$2.61 trillion experienced by manufacturers over the same period, the DGBAS said.

In the service sector, transportation and warehousing operators enjoyed a 950 percent increase in e-commerce sales compared with 2011 and an 11.3 percent rise from 2015, the fastest growth among all major segments in the sector, the DGBAS data showed.

The DGBAS said the explosive growth reflected the increasing number of consumers who are buying bus or train tickets through the Internet, smartphone apps and even electronic kiosks at convenience stores.

In 2016, the number of vendors using the internet for transactions rose to 92,667, up 38.6 percent from 2011, with 7,021 of them engaging in cross-border transactions, the DGBAS said.

(By Pan Tzu-yu and Frances Huang)