Official retail sales data from the mainland shows a continuation of slowing growth this year.
According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) China retail sales of consumer goods rose 10.2 per cent in January and February combined.
That follows growth of 11.7 per cent in December and 10.7 per cent for the entire 2015 calendar year.
According to the NBS, Chinese consumers bought 5.29 trillion yuan (US$815.2 billion) worth of consumer goods in the first two months of 2016.
Urban areas accounted for nearly 86 per cent of China retail sales, rural areas 14 per cent. Sales in rural areas rose by 10.9 per cent – faster than the 10.1 per cent in the cities.
Online sales also continue to rise sharply, soaring 27.2 per cent year-on-year for the first two months of this year, to 636.1 billion yuan. Online now accounts for about 12 per cent of China’s total retail market.