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China to surpass US as world's biggest consumer market this year

Online shopping drives growth, but Alibaba's market share seen shrinking

People walk past a department store in Wangfujing Street, a pedestrianised shopping area, in Beijing
People walk past a department store on Beijing's Wangfujing Street.   © Reuters

HONG KONG -- China is expected to overtake the U.S. to become the world's largest consumer of goods this year despite a slowdown in the economy and retail sales, according to a research report.

In the latest forecast by New York-based research company eMarketer released Wednesday, analysts predict China will end the year with total retail sales of $5,074 trillion, exceeding that expected for the U.S. by more than $100 billion.

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