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China turns to livestreaming economy amid epidemic

(People's Daily Online)    14:28, March 16, 2020

Many Chinese enterprises have pinned their hopes on livestream e-commerce to attract consumers, as people are choosing to stay at home amid the novel coronavirus epidemic.

A model helps sell clothes through livestreaming at a clothes market in central China’s Hunan province. (Photo/Xinhua)

Thousands of shopping guides with Intime Retail, a famous department store chain in the country, have turned to livestreaming to advertise their products.

Meanwhile, merchants at the Yiwu small commodity market in east China’s Zhejiang province, have resumed work by using Taobao Live, the livestreaming unit of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, serving customers across the world.

In addition to traditional retail trade, other sectors such as catering, education training and fitness have all been turning to livestreaming videos to expand the online market during this special period.

Furthermore, e-commerce platforms have introduced live broadcasts to help farmers sell agricultural products. The mayors of some cities and counties in provinces including Hainan, Jiangxi and Zhejiang have also turned to live broadcasts to sell farm produce.

According to statistics from Taobao Live, the number of live streaming rooms launched by retailers on the platform increased 719 percent month-on-month in February.

The platform’s data also shows that the total number of orders grew at an average rate of 20 percent every week, with turnover doubling from the same period of the previous year.

The value of China’s livestream e-commerce hit 433.8 billion yuan in 2019. This year, there are expected to be 524 million livestreaming users in the country, while the market value will exceed 900 billion yuan, according to statistics from iiMedia Research, a third-party data mining and analysis organization for new economic industries.

Industry insiders pointed out that livestreaming is an important step for traditional sectors seeking to embrace the Internet.

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

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