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E-commerce boosts sales of agricultural products in SW China

By Jing Yi  (People's Daily)    11:30, March 13, 2019

E-commerce has driven up sales of agricultural products through deeper infiltration in the countryside of southwest China’s Guizhou Province in recent years.

Hua Xi, an agent of China’s online marketplace Taobao, is a witness of the changes that e-commerce has brought to the countryside of Tongren in Guizhou over the past 11 years.

After college graduation in 2008, the 20-year-old of Dong ethnic group opened a shop on Taobao as a part-time job in Wenzhou, a fertile soil for small businesses.

In 2012, Hua and her husband turned the part-time job into a full-time career and the business prospered under their efforts.

“I received hundreds of orders each day, and the sales volume of one underwear product even stood among the top three of the kind on Taobao,” Hua said, attributing the achievements to the help of the booming e-commerce.

In April 2015, Hua left Wenzhou to become an e-commerce entrepreneur under a Rural Taobao Project in Wanshan town of Tongren, her hometown.

Thanks to the improvement of supporting policies such as e-commerce policies, logistics distribution, online payment and credit services, the Tongren site became Alibaba’s first city-level pilot Rural Taobao Project in the country.

“I’m obsessed with selling local products to customers in other places and buying products for farmers via online platforms,” Hua said. Under her efforts, local goods, including honey, wild kudzu root powder, hand-made rice noodles, and rice wine were sold to rest of the country.

In recent years, e-commerce has acted as a pushing hand in Guizhou’s efforts to sell more local products to places out of the mountains, creating opportunities for targeted poverty alleviation, Hua said.

In 2018, Hua set up a sales platform to boost sales of Guizhou’s agricultural products and local goods. The platform has over 110,000 members and 5,000 distributors. She believes that as e-commerce develops, more people would know about Guizhou’s local goods.

In the same year, Hua was elected as a deputy to the National People’s Congress (NPC), becoming the first national legislator from grass-root e-commerce entrepreneurs.

Hua, who is also deputy secretary of the Tongren Municipal Committee of the Communist Youth League, said it’s her responsibility to help young people like her become rich.

“In addition to ‘business environment’, the term ‘private economy’ was mentioned for eight times, and small- and micro-sized enterprises (SMEs) for twelve times in the government work report 2019,” Hua said, adding that she is most concerned about private economy in the report.

In Hua’s view, digital economy will drive common development of the entire industry chain, and the implementation of the digital countryside strategy will play an important role in increasing farmers’ incomes.

As China is going through consumption upgrading, rural e-commerce entrepreneurs could sell high-quality goods to a larger market via e-commerce platforms. This is the value of e-commerce to increase farmers’ income and promote consumption upgrading, Hua said.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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