China sees robust online retail sales of agricultural products in 2022

(People's Daily Online) 10:15, February 14, 2023

China’s online retail sales of farm produce reached 531.38 billion yuan (about $77.78 billion) in 2022, up 9.2 percent year on year, according to data from the Ministry of Commerce. The growth rate increased 6.4 percent from that of 2021.

An employee promotes chestnut products through live-streaming at a chestnut farm in Bohai township of Huairou district, Beijing, capital of China, Sept. 20. 2022. (Xinhua/Tian Chenxu)

In 2022, online retail sales in the country’s rural areas rose 3.6 percent year on year to 2.17 trillion yuan, according to the ministry.

The rapid growth of online retail sales of agricultural products can be attributed to favorable policies. China’s “No. 1 central document” for 2022 specified that the country would implement a campaign to facilitate the development of agriculture and rural areas by promoting digital business and e-commerce in rural areas.

The campaign has resulted in the development of rural e-commerce accelerating. E-commerce platforms have taken steps to enhance the supply chain of agricultural products, speeding up supply-side structural reform in agriculture and contributing to advancing rural vitalization across the board.

Chinese e-commerce giant Pinduoduo has adopted the model of group buying and direct sales, and unveiled its 10-billion-yuan agriculture program to facilitate agricultural and rural vitalization. JD.com, another Chinese e-commerce powerhouse, has launched a shopping festival for agricultural specialties to promote sales of high-quality agricultural products. Some e-commerce platforms have started short video livestreaming competitions to boost sales of farm produce and help farmers increase their incomes.

In recent years, short video and livestreaming platforms have created a fast track for the sale of agricultural products. For example, Douyin E-commerce under popular Chinese short-video platform Douyin has launched a program to promote sales of farm produce and specialties in rural areas in provinces including Fujian, Guizhou, Sichuan and Jilin.

Local governments in China have taken measures to help farmers boost sales of their agricultural products. Binchuan county in Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture, southwest China’s Yunnan Province has vigorously developed the rural e-commerce industry, incentivising young people to return to their hometowns to start businesses or become livestreamers to help sell agricultural products. So far, over 100 kinds of farm produce and specialties in the county have become available online, and the county’s online retail sales of agricultural products have significantly increased.

Xu Zhixin, first Party secretary of Yanwoyuan village, Luotian county, central China’s Hubei Province, has become a livestreamer selling agricultural products including chestnuts, sweet potatoes and tea leaves grown in the county, with a monthly sales volume exceeding 6 million yuan.

(Web editor: Hongyu, Du Mingming)


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