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Study: Strong growth for Japanese e-commerce

Japan's electronic commerce market for business-to-business (B2B) in 2001 grew 58% and for business-to-consumer (B2C) grew 80% over the previous year, according to a survey.

The annual survey, which was started in 1998, was conducted jointly by the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), the Electronic Commerce Promotion Council of Japan (ECOM) and NTT Data Institute of Management Consulting.

The B2B e-commerce market is estimated to have grown to ¥34 trillion (£178bn) in 2001, which the report says is a 58% jump compared to the previous year. The growth rate matched a target set by the Japanese government as part of its e-Japan initiatives.

Among the categories, e-commerce for electronics/networking devices and automobiles remain strong, and sales of equipment for the chemical and other industries and paper/stationery also grew in 2001, the report said. The three organisations predicted that Japan's B-to-B e-commerce market is set to achieve online sales of ¥125 trillion (£654.7bn) in 2006.

The business-to-government (B2G) sector, which achieved sales of about ¥6bn (£31m), in 2001, is expected to achieve sales of more than ¥6 trillion (£31bn), thanks to plans by Japanese government offices to adopt electronic bidding systems by 2002, the report said.

Japan's domestic B2C market is estimated to make sales of ¥1.5 trillion (£7bn) in 2001 - an 80% increase from the previous year. Although the online sales growth of PCs, books and music slowed down, sales of clothing, travel, real estate and entertainment services grew rapidly. The report also predicted that the B2C market would expand to ¥16 trillion (£8.3bn) by 2006.

The hottest segment is expected to be the mobile B2C market, which reached about ¥120bn (£628.5m) in sales, the report said. The market is expected to be worth ¥3 trillion (£15.7bn)in 2006.

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