Alibaba to train one million rural e-commerce gurus
Alibaba reached an agreement Tuesday with China Communist Youth League, a CPC reserve force, to train 1 million teenagers to take e-commerce to rural areas.
The agreement sealed in southwest China's Guizhou province, means Alibaba will help the rural youth to jumpstart online businesses offering training, funds and partnerships. Alibaba's Internet finance arm Ant Financial will earmark 1 billion yuan ($154 million) to support college graduates who want to return to their hometowns to start businesses.
E-commerce is developing quickly in rural China with farmers selling produce online. Service stations have been set up in villages to help those who lack the necessary skills to buy and sell online. Villagers can order goods at the stations and return a few days later to collect their packages.
The number of these village hubs has risen from three in 2009 to 780, with plans in place to build another 100,000 village stations and 1,000 county stations by 2019 at a cost of around 10 billion yuan.
China's online sales remained strong in 2015, jumping 33.3 percent to 3.88 trillion yuan. Online sales in rural areas grew at double the pace of urban areas.