BEIJING: China's total retail market is expected to jump 50% to $6.5 trillion by 2020 with online transactions accounting for nearly half of that growth, according to Boston Consulting Group.

The global research firm released its prediction at an event last weekend that was attended by more than 600 industry experts from 40 organisations.

Hosted by Alibaba Research Institute, the research arm of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, the "Think Tank Summit on the New Economy" pulled together predictions for the Chinese economy over the next five years.

In an article for Alibaba-focused news portal Alizila, content manager Tom Brennan explained that participants identified 10 main forecasts for the rapidly evolving Chinese economy.

For example, Bain & Co. expected China's online retail market to grow to $1.52 trillion, or 22% of the country's total retail industry, with tier III and tier IV cities driving much of that growth. The global management consultants also said mobile would account for 70% of all online sales.

Turning to cross-border e-commerce, Bain & Co. expected the market to grow to $152.1bn, or a full third of China's total foreign trade.

And the China Center for International Economic Exchanges said international e-commerce would account for 30% to 40% of total world trade by 2025.

Other predictions included one from Zhejiang University, which said the internet would penetrate all rural areas of China. The State Information Center of China said this would give full prominence to the sharing economy.

Participants also considered the future use of data and online platform ZenCoo predicted that new forms of social measurement will replace statistical sampling, thus revolutionising certain disciplines, such as sociology and communications.

The Data Center of China Internet, an independent institute, also predicted that China's 3D printing market will be worth $15.2bn within five years.

"China today is in the midst of transforming from an industrial-driven economy to a data-driven economy," said Gao Hongbing, dean of AliResearch and vice president of Alibaba Group.

"These 10 forecasts are a small part of our observation and thinking, and we hope they can play a part in stimulating further deliberation on the society's future development."

Data sourced from Alizila; additional content by Warc staff