[Asian Steel Watch] Vol.2 (2016.10)
On the Cover The Rise, Prospects, and Impact of China’s Steel E-Commerce
China’s steel e-commerce is gaining ground in China. The rapid growth of China’s steel e-commerce after 2012 was caused by three factors that collectively intensified competition in online platforms: the changing landscape of the steel trading market due to a slump in China’s steel industry; China’s “Internet Plus” and other related policies; and an online fever across the industry. The Chinese government aims to increase total steel trade through e-commerce by about 20%, or 150-200 Mt, until 2020. China’s steel e-commerce market will be led by a few competitive firms. Most steel e-commerce firms in China are pioneering or considering overseas expansion. Therefore, their influence will become stronger in overseas markets. As China’s steel e-commerce develops, the functions of offline steel traders in countries which import Chinese steel products will be reduced. In this process, existing offline steel distribution channels will be upgraded through integration with online channels.