Asia's e-commerce to reach $51 billion by 2003

Morgan Stanley analyst sees Asia''s e-commerce market up 24-fold to $51 bn by 2003

The market for e-commerce in Asia, excluding Japan, could expand by 24 times to $51 billion by 2003. This is fromáthe $2 billion recorded last year, according to Sunil Gupta, Asia internet analyst at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter in Hong Kong.

Still, only a fraction of companies hoping to compete in the growing market will succeed, he said. Of the many existing Asian internet portals - content-providers such as in China - only four or five will survive, he says.

E-commerce companies that do business mainly with consumers such as Korean online shopping mall Hansol CSN, could find it increasingly difficult to make money as competition intensifies. Those companies that get to a large market segment first and are able to build a brand that commands customer loyalty, will likely be the winners over the long-term, he says.

Investor attention is now focusing on companies that help businesses transact with each other online, such as Singapore-based and Hong Kong-based, he says. Gupta forecasts that the market for business-to-business commerce alone in Asia will grow to $27 billion in 2003 from $88 million in 1997, with Australia, Greater China and Korea accounting for roughly 75% of the total in 2003. By 2004, that figure will likely beáover $100 billion, Gupta says.

Companies that help traditional businesses develop online by providing consultancy and other services, such as Chinadotcom and CyberTouch, can also be attractive investments, he says.

Share our publication on social media
Share our publication on social media