Attendees promote products via livestreaming platforms during the 129th session of the China Import and Export Fair in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, on April 15, 2021. [Photo by LIN GUIYAN/FOR China DAILY]

BEIJING — China’s online retail sales maintained steady growth in the first quarter (Q1) of the year as the economy further recovered from the impact of COVID-19.

In the January-March period, online retail sales went up 29.9 percent year on year to 2.81 trillion yuan ($434.5 billion), according to data released by the Ministry of Commerce.

Average first-quarter growth of online retail sales for the past two years stood at 13.5 percent, the data showed.

Rural online retail sales reached 439.79 billion yuan, increasing 35.3 percent from a year earlier and resulting in an average first-quarter year-on-year growth of 14.7 percent over the past two years.

Online sales of agricultural products amounted to 105.58 billion yuan in the same period, representing a year-on-year growth of 4.9 percent, the ministry said.