Online retail sales in China’s rural areas up 16.3 pct in first three quarters

(People's Daily Online) 11:09, December 13, 2021

Online retail sales in China’s rural areas rose 16.3 percent year on year to reach about 1.43 trillion yuan ($224.68 billion) in the first three quarters of this year, according to data from the Ministry of Commerce.

A deliverywoman arranges packages in a rural delivery station in Huangshi Town in Leiyang, central China's Hunan Province, Nov. 3, 2021. (Xinhua/Chen Sihan)

In the same period, online retail sales of agricultural products amounted to 304.39 billion yuan, with a year-on-year increase of 1.5 percent.

The growth was attributed to the rapid development of rural e-commerce, which is underpinned by the improvements in network infrastructure in rural areas. As of June this year, the Internet penetration rate in rural areas had reached 59.2 percent, and more than 99 percent of China’s administrative villages had been connected through optical fiber networks and 4G networks.

The boom in e-commerce in the countryside has expanded rural consumption. In October this year, retail sales in rural areas grew by 5.6 percent year on year, up 0.2 percentage points from the previous month.

By the end of 2020, retail sales of consumer goods in rural areas had grown faster than in urban areas for eight consecutive years. Online retail sales in the country’s rural areas jumped to 1.79 trillion yuan in 2020 from 0.89 trillion yuan in 2016.

Meanwhile, rural e-commerce has become a key way of expanding sales channels of agricultural products and increasing farmers’ incomes. By the end of 2020, there were more than 15.2 million rural e-commerce shops across China. These online shops had helped 36 million rural residents start businesses or find jobs in their hometowns.

Li Xiancai, an executive of a 40-hectare rice planting base in Dongdun village, Suyu district, Suqian city, east China’s Jiangsu Province, has made the base’s rice into a bestseller through e-commerce platforms, helping 35 farming households boost their incomes. “Earlier, our rice was sold out online even before the harvest season had begun,” Li said.

Since 2021, the online sales volume of high-quality agricultural products in Suyu has exceeded 1 billion yuan.

(Web editor: Hongyu, Liang Jun)


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