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China’s retail sales saw steady growth in 2018, according to a report published by the Ministry of Commerce.

Last year, the sales volume stood at 33.8 trillion yuan (about 4.78 trillion US dollars), up 8.9 percent from 2017, the report showed.

By the end of 2018, the number of business units in the retail industry amounted to 20.8 million, representing a year-on-year growth of 7.8 percent, according to the ministry.

Over half of the 85 listed retail companies in Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges achieved net profit growth last year, and 10 of them saw net profit doubled, said the ministry.

Online retail sales expanded to over 9 trillion yuan, surging 23.9 percent from a year ago, while that in rural areas rose 30.4 percent to 1.4 trillion yuan, said the report.

In 2018, the sales volume of convenience stores and supermarkets respectively increased 8.3 percent and 4.3 percent, up 1.0 percentage points and 0.5 percentage points year on year.