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Retailing is an important component of every country's economic system. The current status and developments in the informization of Chinese retail industry were investigated by using questionnaires and interviews to survey 139 retailers throughout China. The investigation shows that Chinese retailers are in the initial informization stage, and can be classified into different types with corresponding informization characteristics. In addition, the survey identified the key problems faced by retailers in the initial stage. Developments in the information technology field were analyzed to identify the key technologies that Chinese retailers should focus on during the informization process. The investigation also shows that the retailers have not arrived at a consensus about information technology adoption, and thus hesitate to use new information technologies, such as the radio frequency identification.