March 11, 2014, 1:10 PM

In China, B2B e-commerce hits a record $6.9 billion in Q3

The move by traditional industries like pharmaceuticals into e-commerce, and the development of vertical B2B search engines, is helping to push B2B e-commerce up steadily in China, according to EnfoDesk and Analysys International.

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Business-to-business e-commerce in China reached a quarterly record of 42.4 billion Chinese yuan (US$6.9 billion) in the third quarter of 2013, according to the most recent data compiled by EnfoDesk, a research unit of Analysys International. Q3 2013 sales were up 23.2% from 34.4 billion yuan (US$5.6 billion) in the year-earlier period.

Quarter-over-quarter B2B online sales increased in seven of the 10 quarters from Q1 2011 to Q3 2013, the firm says. Analysys attributes the  growth to a widespread move by industrial companies into e-commerce, the application of “big data” to help companies better target and serve business customers, and the development of e-commerce tools like vertical B2B search engines.

“The development of pharmaceutical B2B e-commerce [was] not only earlier than business-to-consumer,” Analysys says, but it is also supported by a “sound logistics chain” and a high demand for online security in online trading platforms. Analysys adds that the move to the Internet by pharmaceutical companies for commerce “will be the future development trend of the pharmaceutical industry.”

In another example of how it expects B2B companies will continue to grow through e-commerce, Analysys notes that organizations like suppliers of electricity will use large amounts of data derived through e-commerce on how other businesses use electric power to develop more personalized and effective services and advertising campaigns.

Following are the quarterly revenue figures for B2B e-commerce in China (in billions of Chinese yuan and U.S. dollars) and quarter-to-quarter growth rates (except for Q1 2011), as compiled by EnfoDesk:

● Q1 2011—25.1 (US$4.1) N/A

● Q2 2011—30.0 (US$4.9) 19.5%

● Q3 2011—35.5 (US$5.8) 1.5%

● Q4 2011—31.1 (US$5.1) -12.4%

● Q1 2011—30.4 (US$5.0) -2.4%

● Q2 2012—33.7 (US$5.5) 11.1%

● Q3 2012—34.4 (US$5.6) 2.0%

● Q4 2012—37.2 (US$6.1) 8.2%

● Q1 2013—36.8 (US$6.0) -1.1%

● Q2 2013—39.3 (US$6.4) 6.8%

● Q3 2013—42.4 (US$6.9) 7.8%

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