September 19, 2017 / 8:49 AM / a year ago

French online retail sales rose 13 pct in H1

PARIS, Sept 19 (Reuters) - French online retail sales rose 13 percent to 39.5 billion euros ($47 billion) in the first half, the French E-Commerce Federation said, highlighting the country's steps towards making France a major hub for fintech and online businesses.

The federation said on Tuesday that the increase had been driven by a growing number of transactions on smartphones and a rise in the number of online vendors.

The number of E-commerce websites rose 10 percent from last year to stand at 208,000 by end-June, and in the second quarter alone online retail sales rose 11 percent to 19.5 billion euros.

Amazon was the most visited E-commerce website in France in the second quarter, followed by Casino's C-Discount,, and Fnac Darty.

In June, French billionaire Xavier Niel said he felt Paris was now fully equipped to attract more innovative companies than London and dominate Europe's startup scene, as Niel opened the doors to Paris' start-up mega-campus Station F.

Paris and Berlin are vying to displace London's lead in the European start-up technology scene, while other cities including Dublin, Amsterdam and Frankfurt are also promoting themselves as alternative tech hubs in the face of uncertainties caused by the British vote to leave the European Union.

$1 = 0.8335 euros Reporting by Pascale Denis and Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta

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