Paul Lachine

China y la revolución del comercio minorista electrónico

SHANGHÁI – Cuando se piensa acerca de centros de innovación tecnológica, el Valle del Silicón, Seattle y Seúl son probablemente los primeros lugares que vienen a la mente. Después de todo, son los hogares de Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Intel, Microsoft y Samsung – empresas cuyas innovaciones transforman la manera en la que otros sectores, desde el sector de los servicios financieros hasta el de las telecomunicaciones y los medios de comunicación, llevan a cabo sus actividades empresariales.

Ahora, sin embargo, el ascenso del comercio minorista electrónico o “e-tail” (comercio electrónico orientado al consumidor) en China está posibilitando que la ciudad de Hangzhóu – la sede de Alibaba, el comerciante minorista en línea más grande de China – se una a las filas de dichos centros de innovación tecnológica. En efecto, el 29 de abril Alibaba dio muestras de sus ambiciones al comprar una participación accionaria del 18% en Sina Weibo, la versión china de Twitter. Y, como ocurre con los centros de tecnología en otros lugares, las innovaciones nacidas en Hangzhóu determinan la trayectoria de desarrollo de los sectores industriales relacionados.

El mercado del comercio minorista electrónico (e-tail) de China es el segundo más grande en el mundo (después del mercado de los Estados Unidos), se estima que el año pasado alcanzó la cifra de $210 mil millones en ingresos. Desde el año 2003, el mercado ha mostrado una tasa compuesta de crecimiento anual de más del 110%. Hasta el año 2020, el mercado de e-tail de China podría llegar a ser tan grande como lo son en la actualidad los mercados de los EE.UU., Japón, Reino Unido, Alemania y Francia juntos.

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