South Korea e-commerce sales hit $237B

First quarter online sales grow 26.5 percent on back of more business-to-business transactions as more Korean citizens go online to purchase services and products, report states.

Growth in business-to-business (B2B) transactions helped boost South Korea's online commerce market to reach 279.4 trillion won (US$236.9 billion) in the first quarter of 2012.

The Yonhap News Agency, citing a government report from Statistics Korea, reported on Friday that the combined sales of local online retail malls and other businesses reached 279.4 trillion won (US$236.9 billion), which represented a 26.5 percent increase from the same time last year. It is also the second-largest transaction size ever, second only to the previous quarter's 286 trillion won (US$243.3 billion).

"The increase reflects greater use of the Internet to conduct business transactions and buy goods," the report stated.

It also stated that B2B transactions climbed 27.7 percent on-year to hit 258.6 trillion won (US$220 billion), which constitutes nearly 92.6 percent of the overall sales. Comparatively, business-to-government (B2G) transactions grew 14 percent to 13.3 trillion won (US$11.3 billion).

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