China's online retail sales maintained high-speed growth in the first quarter, official data has showed.
Online retail sales totalled 1.5 trillion yuan (238.5 billion U.S. dollars) in the first three months, up 34.4 percent year on year, according to Gao Feng, spokesperson for the Ministry of Commerce.
The online sales value accounted for 16.1 percent of total retail sales in the first quarter, 3.7 percentage points higher than the same period last year.
The growth rate of online retail sales was much higher than that of grocery stores, supermarkets, and shopping malls, although retail sales at brick-and-mortar stores witnessed accelerated growth this year.
China's retail sales of consumer goods grew 9.8 percent year on year to reach 9 trillion yuan in the first quarter of 2018.
The expansion increased slightly from the 9.7-percent rise seen in the first two months. In March alone, retail sales went up 10.1 percent.
Consumption has became a key economic driver for China and contributed to 77.8 percent of economic growth in the first quarter, up from 58.8 percent in 2017.