The amount of money changing hands in online auctions in China increased by more than a third in the first quarter, new research reveals.
Consumer-to-consumer (C2C) auctions generated $2.98bn in sales during the first three months of the year, a quarter-on-quarter increase of 36.4 per cent, according to local research firm Analysys International.
The surge in spending came despite severe weather during January, which cut power to wide areas and left hundreds of thousands stranded in railway stations and on roads throughout the country.
Individual C2C transactions rose 19 per cent from the previous quarter to reach more than 136 million.
The Chinese C2C auction market is dominated by Taobao, a subsidiary of China's B2C auction leader Alibaba, with a share of around 80 per cent.
Global online auction leader eBay has slightly more than seven per cent of the Chinese market, according to Analysys.
In related news, China's most popular internet search website, Baidu, has released more details of its forthcoming C2C auction service.
Like competing auction services in China, Baidu's service will be offered free of charge and will attempt to generate revenue through advertising.
The company said that sellers will be able to target auctions at broad groups of users based on age, location, interests and other data already gathered by Baidu.
Baidu, which receives approximately 60 per cent of China's search engine traffic, has not yet announced a launch date for the service, but has begun promotions in major cities.
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