• Starbucks is one of the U.S. companies benefiting from China's new economy, with sales in the country reaching 6 percent last year.

Starbucks is one of the U.S. companies benefiting from China's new economy, with sales in the country reaching 6 percent last year. (Photo : Getty Images)

As China's economic transformation shifts growth from the industrial to the service sector, U.S. companies are seeking new avenues for growth in the country.

In 2016, China-U.S. service trade alone surpassed $100 million, according to the state-owned Xinhua News Agency.

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Among the key beneficiaries of the huge Chinese market is Starbucks. According to the company's fiscal report released in late January, the Seattle-based coffee chain saw sales increase by 6 percent in China, 3 percentage points higher than global growth for the quarter that ended on Jan. 1, 2017, Xinhua reported. Net quarterly revenues for the China/Asia Pacific segment also grew 18 percent year over year to $770.8 million.

The robust sales growth is attributed partly to the partnership between Starbucks and Chinese Internet giant Tencent, which offered mobile payment services for Chinese customers since December.

The two companies have also introduced a digital gift-sharing program on Tencent's mobile messaging service WeChat, allowing its users to send and receive Starbucks digital gifts and cash them in at offline outlets.

While China is developing a consumer-driven economy, many sectors such as logistics services are adapting to better serve Chinese customers, David Bell, a business professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, told Xinhua.

Last year, Amazon launched its Prime service in China, providing Chinese members free shipping, faster delivery times, and other time-saving features.

Zhang Wenyi, president of Amazon China, said the number of active Chinese users grew 23 times the number in 2014, and more Chinese sellers are doing business in the overseas market via Amazon.

"We have seen huge market potential with more and more Chinese customers buying from around the world on e-commerce platforms, and more and more American customers choosing quality products made in China," he said.

Gan Chunhui, deputy head of the China Society of Industrial Economics, said China's budding consumer-driven economy not only means growing demand for consumer goods and services but also encourage advancement throughout the industrial chain.

U.S. projects in China, for example, have benefited the traditional manufacturing sector elsewhere so that other countries may also participate in the new economy, Gan said.

"With value-added products based on intellectual property, traditional manufacturing will release new vitality," he added.