Shanghai is the most advanced online shopping city in China, and is categorized as one of the tier-1 cities along with Beijing, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, according to Taobao.
On Tuesday, the Chinese e-commerce operator released its report on the development of online shopping in China, which split the country's cities into six different tiers to reflect the rate of their spending. There are four tier-1, 24 tier-2, 92 tier-3, 156 tier-4, 381 tier-5, and 1,643 tier-6 cities, it revealed.
The tier-1 cities were determined by their positions as important political and economical regions, which in turn drives online shopping among citizens, the report explained.
The study was based on data from 2,300 Chinese cities, and included factors such as economic progress, population, spending, income and Internet penetration. This is the first time that the e-commerce giant had tiered the country's cities, it added.
Mapping these new findings with past studies, Taobao noted users from higher-tiered cities were more likely to shop on its online platform. For instance, 34.9 percent of users from tier-1 cities purchased something from Taobao while 23.4 percent of users in tier-2 cities did likewise.
Lower-tier cities experienced more growth in new online shoppers though, the report noted. At 150.6 percent, tier-6 cities experienced the highest year-on-year growth of new buyers on Taobao during the first half of 2012. By comparison, growth in tier-1 cities was at 20.7 percent, it stated.