The e-retailer puts out a fulfillment call that could, by one estimate, increase its warehouse workforce by 10%.
The manufacturer of computers, components and other electronic products, leads Chinese B2B companies in the value of products purchased or sold online. It’s riding a trend that China’s government sees producing 15 trillion yuan ($2.4 trillion) in B2B e-commerce trade by 2015.
Foxconn Technology Group, the giant contract electronics manufacturer whose clients include Apple Inc., is tops in China in business-to-business e-commerce, according to a survey released recently by the government’s National Bureau of Statistics.
Futaihua Industrial( Shen Zhen) Co.. a Foxconn subsidiary, booked 349.2 billion yuan ($57.58 billion) in online transactions in 2012, including both what it bought and sold. Foxconn is the trade name of Hon Hai Precision Industry Company Ltd., which is based in Taiwan.
Electric power company State Grid Co. was No. 2 with 83.46 billion yuan ($13.6 billion) in online B2B trade volume in 2012, followed by telecom equipment company ZTE Corp. with 76.33 billion yuan ($12.6 billion).
Among services companies, the report ranks China Southern Airlines first with total B2B e-commerce trade volume of 21.3 billion yuan ($3.5 billion).
The report is based on a survey of 308,000 Chinese companies, which together sold a total of 2.99 trillion yuan ($490 billion) worth of products through e-commerce in 2012 and went online to buy 2.30 trillion yuan ($377 billion) worth of products.
The agency only surveyed companies with more than 2,000 employees, not smaller firms. As a result, the report totals represent only a portion of the B2B e-commerce trade in China. The government projected total e-commerce sales in China would total 9 trillion yuan ($1.48 trillion) in 2012, in its Twelfth Five-Year development plan adopted in 2011. The report didn’t project B2B e-commerce volume for 2012. That document projected total e-commerce volume would double by 2015 to about 18 trillion yuan ($2.9 trillion), of which 15 trillion yuan ($2.4 trillion), or 83%, would come from B2B transactions.
Although e-commerce is developing rapidly in China, many companies there, particularly smaller ones, have not yet deployed e-commerce technology systems, the National Bureau of Statistics report says.
Moreover, the report notes that companies that are engaged in e-commerce do more selling than buying online. It finds that 92.7% of surveyed companies, or 285,516, said that they did not engage in buying or selling through e-commerce in 2012, and 2.5%, or 7,665, said they did no procurement through e-commerce in 2012.
The report says the fastest-growing industry for B2B e-commerce is energy, with an annual growth rate of 73.9%, followed by wholesale, at 37.2%, and restaurants, 32.4%.
The report gives the following volumes, in billions of U.S. dollars, of Chinese B2B e-commerce volume in 2012 by the top 10 industries in terms of e-commerce volumes of combined buying and selling:
- Electronics, $83.3
- Wholesale, $80.6
- Automobile, $48.0
- Tobacco, $46.9
- Black metal, $25.8
- Machines, $20.0
- Energy, $16.6
- Non-ferrous metal, $15.3
- Chemicals, $14.6
- Retail, $12.4
The National Bureau of Statistics concludes that B2B e-commerce is still under-developed in most Chinese companies and that there is plenty of room for growth in the next several years.
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