SHANGHAI: Mobile shopping in China witnessed 168.3% year-on-year growth in the first quarter of 2015, taking the value of Chinese m-commerce to 362.3bn yuan (US$58.4bn), the latest industry data has shown.

Although this was slightly down from 380.2bn yuan spent in Q4 2014, iResearch Consulting Group, the Chinese technology research firm, said it expected m-commerce to continue to record relatively high growth in the second quarter.

Mobile accounted for nearly half (47.8%) of all online shopping in China in Q1 2015, the report said, an increase of 22% from the same period last year, and it is expected to exceed 50% in terms of volume over the course of the year.

Alibaba's Taobao Wireless platform was by far the largest mobile player, with market share of 84.5%, but this was down slightly from 87.4% a year ago as smaller competitors mounted a challenge to its dominance.

Beijing-based JD, for example, took 5.2% market share in the first quarter, Vip took 2.8%, while other players increased their share from 4.2% in Q4 2014 to 4.6% in Q1 2015.

Some, such as Jumei, China's leading retailer of beauty products, did so by focusing on its overseas shopping business, while traditional enterprises like Dangdang and Amazon "made great efforts" by launching micro shops and delivering holiday promotions via mobile apps.

Separate research by Warc, conducted on behalf of the Mobile Marketing Association Asia Pacific, has found a growing impetus for mobile in the region this year. Of those surveyed, one in three now assign 10% or more of their marketing budgets directly to mobile, up from one in five in 2013.

Further, of the technologies enabled by mobile marketing, those which complement m-commerce, namely location-based marketing and the mobile wallet, have both increased in significance this year, and are expected to grow in adoption come 2020.

The full results from the survey are due to be presented at the MMA Forum 2015, to be held in Singapore in July. 

Data sourced from iResearch Consulting Group; additional content by Warc staff