Gaodu township in N China's Shanxi thrives on e-commerce

(People's Daily Online) 09:31, May 15, 2024

In recent years, Gaodu township in Zezhou county, Jincheng city, north China's Shanxi Province has built an e-commerce livestreaming industrial park, improved its logistics system and optimized the industrial chain, resulting in a thriving e-commerce sector that has brought prosperity to villagers.

In August 2021, Shanxi launched a program to develop rural e-towns, a term that refers to development space platforms with a clear industrial orientation and internet application foundation in a certain area that centers on industry, e-commerce, and supporting services.

Gaodu township was recognized as one of the first rural e-towns in the province, while Baofu village, which is home to over 150 houses from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), in the township was designated as an e-commerce livestreaming base.

Photo shows an e-commerce service center in Gaodu township, Zezhou county, Jincheng city, north China's Shanxi Province. (Photo/jcnews.com.cn)

Baofu village leveraged its ancient buildings to promote the integrated development of cultural tourism and e-commerce, according to Jin Bo, Party chief of the village.

While preserving the original appearance of ancient buildings in an ancient compound, the village built modern facilities, turning the compound into an e-commerce livestreaming industrial park.

"Enterprises do not need to pay rent in the early stage of settling in. We provide the greatest possible support for industrial development," Jin said.

Additionally, Baofu village promoted its intangible cultural heritage items online, enhancing its popularity and thus boosting the development of the e-commerce sector, Jin noted.

Jin added that Baofu village also collaborated with a company to provide training courses for livestreamers.

As a result, over 10 intangible cultural heritage inheritors and online influencers have started businesses at the e-commerce livestreaming industrial park.

Since the park’s establishment, owners of many stores in Beijie village, which is separated from Baofu village by a single street, have moved there, including Zhou Guangtianyou.

Seven years ago, Beijie village became Jincheng's first Taobao Village, a rural e-commerce hub that features Alibaba's logistics, service and training capabilities to encourage farmers to engage in online sales of farm produce and local specialties.

Zhou began running an online store selling Jincheng's farm produce and specialties in 2016.

Three years later, the commercial bureau of Zezhou county provided e-commerce training courses for villagers in Beijie village.

"Since then, more and more villagers have started selling local agricultural products online," said Zhou, adding that sales from online stores in Beijie village exceeded 10 million yuan ($1.38 million) in 2021.

Today, a large number of stores have relocated to the e-commerce livestreaming industrial park. So far, the park’s total sales have surpassed 2 billion yuan.

This year, the second phase of the industrial park will invest over 50 million yuan to build a distribution center for Jincheng's farm produce and specialties, said Wu Xiaoya, county mayor of Zezhou.

A logistics system is key to developing the e-commerce industry, said Zhang Jianjun, Party chief of Gaodu township.

Through the construction of rural e-towns, Zezhou county has rolled out measures encouraging express delivery companies to enhance cooperation, attracting eight express delivery companies to the logistics distribution center in Gaodu township.

Thirty village-level stations have been established in the township, delivering an average of nearly 100,000 express parcels per month, benefiting entrepreneurs that operate online stores.

"It's now more convenient and cost-effective to send express parcels," Zhou said.

(Web editor: Hongyu, Liang Jun)


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