– This is the script of CNBC's news report for China's CCTV on November 11, Wednesday.
Welcome to CNBC Business Daily, I'm Qian Chen.
It's Singles' Day in China and it's the biggest online sales event for Chinese e-commerce and online shops.
China's e-commerce is booming, with a market size that's even bigger than the US... so I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the industry business cycle -- how the US e-commerce market has been doing, and if the Chinese market is following a similar trend.
Back in the 90s, it was Walmart's world; people just shopped in it.
In its 2001 fiscal year, Walmart had 4189 stores around the world, including discount stores and subsidiary supermarkets, the retail giant's revenues rose close to $200bn.
In 2002, for the first time, Walmart topped the Fortune 500 ranking of America's largest companies, and then have been keen on expanding its global footprints.
Around the same time... an online shopping website was launched in 1995 and got listed in 1997... it was named... Amazon. In the Q4 of 2001, the website claimed net profits for the first time.
Even though the market crashed due to the collapse of the tech bubble later, Amazon survived and was able to catch the ride of another tech booming period after that.
In 1999, Amazon was a fledgling company with annual revenue of $1.6 billion; Walmart's was about $138 billion. By last year, Amazon's revenue was about 54 times what it was in 1999, nearly $89 billion, almost all of it from online sales.
What had Walmart been doing during this period?
Walmart's was about three times what it was 15 years before, almost $486 billion, and only a small fraction of that - 2.5 percent, or $12.2 billion - came from Walmart.com.
It's widely believed that success in retailing has always depended on three simple factors: price, selection and convenience -- that was how Walmart became a distrupter in its own right and how it rapidly expanded its market shares in the US and across the globe, driving mom-and-pop stores out of business.
But, not any more.
Previous advantages are becoming the giant's disadvantages.
The sell-off in Wal-Mart stock last month following an announcement that the company expects profits to fall in fiscal year 2017 due to increasing investments in online services shows concerns among global investors -- is it too late to join in the game?
There's one more thing I would like to mention - smartphones, which are bringing payments from online to mobile platforms -- and this could be an opportunity for Walmart to come back to the game.
While building vast new fulfillment centers and enhancing its delivery capabilities, the company is try to catch up with its competitors. If Walmart can take advantage of its extensive store network for O2O services in the future, it might be able to help the company to regain market shares.
However, how quicky and how efficient it can go ... is the key.
Now, this is not just happening between Walmart and Amazon, nor just happening in the US. It's everywhere, including China.
[Hans Tung, managing partner, GGV Capital]: "094757 When Taobao got started, the e-commerce in china is only at 0.01% of the total retail, but now e-commerce is 14% of retail, and the number is going to be 20% in the next 2-3 years. 094811 094821 So you can see that even though Chinas economy is slowing down, chinas ecommerce is taking off. 094828"
With rapid growth of China's online and mobile payments, how can traditional retailers reform in order to survive in the increasingly intesive competition in the e-commerce market?
Hope they can learn a lesson from their peers in the US.
CNBC's Qian Chen, reporting from Singapore.