Thanks to the popularization of smart phones and mobile payment , China’s e-commerce industry is now embracing new growth opportunities: senior citizens.

The consumption by the aged group on China’s e-commerce platform experienced a 78-percent growth year on year in the first half of 2017, the company said in a report. The sales of commodities from the elders surged by 61.8 percent from a year ago, higher than the average growth rate of the whole platform.

Statistics from China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba showed that nearly 30 million consumers aged 50 or above have registered on its platform Tmall, and the average spending of those users in their 50s amounted to 5,000 yuan ($790) each year.

China is already an aging society. The country had more than 230 million people aged 60 or above at the end of 2016, 16.7 percent of the total population. The number is expected to rise further.

Though the young generations still constitute the majority of online-shoppers, an increasing number of middle-aged and seniors are joining in with the development of mobile internet and payment, popularization of smart phones, and the change in consumption concept.

In terms of online consumption made by middle-aged and aged group, the buyers are not always the users, since the seniors and their siblings often make online purchases for each other. In addition, healthy, fashionable and trendy products are preferred by the group.

By Li Ning


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