E-com­merce Helps Al­le­vi­ate Ru­ral Poverty

China Today (English) - - CONTENTS - By HONG YONG

For those stuck in the mire of poverty, the In­ter­net can chan­nel their agri­cul­tural pro­duce to the huge ur­ban mar­ket, and mean­while, make af­ford­able com­modi­ties and con­ve­nient ser­vices only a click away.

AS the In­ter­net of Things, the mo­bile In­ter­net and other new types of in­fra­struc­ture be­come more widely ac­ces­si­ble, a new method of re­duc­ing poverty through e-com­merce is be­ing ap­plied in many ar­eas. This method ex­plores more chan­nels for agri­cul­tural pro­duce to en­ter ur­ban mar­kets, and for in­dus­trial prod­ucts to sell in ru­ral ar­eas. The costs to farm­ers of pur­chas­ing in­dus­trial prod­ucts are be­ing low­ered, and the ef­fi­ciency of agri­cul­tural pro­duce sales en­hanced. More en­tre­pre­neur­ial and in­no­va­tive op­por­tu­ni­ties are thus be­ing cre­ated for ru­ral res­i­dents.

New Tech, New Op­por­tu­ni­ties

Con­nect­ing farm­ers to mar­kets has al­ways been hard in re­gions with scant com­mer­cial in­fra­struc­ture and in­for­ma­tion im­bal­ances. By re­duc­ing cir­cu­la­tion pro­ce­dures and costs, e-com­merce not only in­creases farm­ers’ profit mar­gins, but also greatly de­creases in­for­ma­tion asym­me­try be­tween pro­duc­ers and con­sumers. Farm­ers are able to keep in touch with changes in con­sumer de­mand and mar­ket fluc­tu­a­tions. By sell­ing agri­cul­tural pro­duce to the whole na­tional mar­ket, they thus see in­come ex­pan­sion and poverty re­duc­tion.

Caox­ian in Heze City is the poor­est county in Shan­dong Prov­ince. Many res­i­dents here en­gage in the sale of cos­tumes, stage props and danc­ing shoes. They process these prod­ucts in scat­tered fam­ily work­shops and then carry them in bags to sell in neigh­bor­ing cities and coun­ties. Trans­ac­tion vol­umes of this en­ergy-con­sum­ing model are low, and sales un­cer­tain. How­ever, e-com­merce has hugely ac­cel­er­ated the con­nec­tiv­ity be­tween sales chan­nels and plat­forms, pro­mot­ing the de­vel­op­ment of Caox­ian.

As China’s first pi­lot city for poverty al­le­vi­a­tion through e-com­merce, Long­nan City in Gansu Prov­ince es­tab­lished six sys­tems across 450 im­pov­er­ished vil­lages, in­clud­ing ad­min­is­tra­tive ser­vices, online retailing, online goods sup­ply, In­ter­net lo­gis­tics, and per­son­nel train­ing and eval­u­a­tion.

E-com­merce pro­vides more en­trepreneur­ship and em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties for ru­ral res­i­dents. It not only im­proves the over­all econ­omy of ru­ral ar­eas, but also en­cour­ages more col­lege grad­u­ates and mi­grant work­ers to re­turn home and start busi­nesses. Join­ing this move­ment

The In­ter­net con­nects a re­mote vil­lage to huge in­ter­na­tional mar­kets.

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