China uses e-commerce as tool for rural development
by Ali Ünal
XINJIANGOct 01, 2016 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Ali Ünal
Oct 01, 2016 12:00 am
The world's production hub China has started using e-commerce platforms to boost rural development. Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba.com has recently launched several projects to support local e-commerce. The Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region along with Alibaba executives selected Shawan County as their pilot region last year, where they expanded e-commerce on the local level, opening an e-commerce center that provides educational resources to local villagers for buying and selling online, offering information about the logistics and financing stages of e-commerce as well. The establishment is set to benefit the nearly 200,000 people who live in the county, which is famous for its cayenne pepper and dried fruits. Locals will then be able to take these agricultural products to the e-trade platform at alibaba.com. So far, the number of sellers in the county has increased to 426 in one year with a total revenue of 120 million yuan ($18 million). The e-commerce center is managed under agreements with Chinese logistics companies to provide improved opportunities to local villagers who can deliver their products across China at a faster rate. The center also features a library and a daycare center for students. With the success of Shawan e-commerce center, the Xinjiang government and Alibaba signed a cooperation agreement last February to develop other e-commerce centers to improve self-employment rates among villagers. Accordingly, e-commerce drop-in centers will be opened in the cities of Yining, Kashgar and Hotan to help returning migrant workers start businesses.
Moreover, the Chinese government allocated a total of 2 billion yuan to 200 counties chosen from China's central and western provinces as demonstration areas for piloting rural e-commerce earlier this year. As part of this plan, 130 million yuan have been allocated to funding that will boost e-commerce development in the Xinjiang region. The funding will be used to support the construction of e-commerce service centers in counties and villages like Shawan as well as develop logistic systems for e-commerce and help train local officials, enterprise employees and farmers on the basics of e-commerce.