An online shopper uses the Pinduoduo app on his smartphone in Ji’nan city, East China’s Shandong province, on June 28, 2018. [Photo/IC]

The market scale of China’s social commerce sector is expected to reach 2.07 trillion yuan ($302 billion) in 2019, an increase of 63.2 percent year-on-year, as the use of mobile technologies to access social media has become increasingly popular in China, a new industry report said.

The sales revenue from social commerce platforms will account for 20 percent of the country’s online retail market this year, and this proportion will amount to more than 30 percent in 2020, according to the report issued by the Internet Society of China and Chuangqi Social Commerce Research Center.

Social commerce is a subset of e-commerce that involves using social media, online media that supports social interaction and user contributions, to assist in the online buying and selling of products and services. Pinduoduo’s group buying and discount model continuously grabbed headlines last year.

The report also said the number of people engaged in the social commerce field is expected to reach 48.01 million in 2019, up 58.3 percent compared with same period of last year. In addition, the tendency with regard to the integration of online and offline shopping channels will be strengthened, with diversified and personalized products favored by Chinese consumers.

Experts said social commerce has become a driving force for booming e-commerce. “E-commerce on social networking platforms is rising in the retail industry because people increasingly use mobile phones and tablets to replace PC-based online shopping, so group buying has gained traction,” said Cao Lei, director of the China E-Commerce Research Center.

He added social commerce will become the mainstream method in this e-commerce industry, and will attract more tech giants and capital.