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Alibaba to expand e-commerce in rural China
Feb '16
Alibaba has reached a deal with China's top economic planner to expand e-commerce in the country's rural areas, the Chinese media reported.

Under the agreement, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) will work with Alibaba, China's biggest online trader, in more than 300 rural areas to develop e-commerce.

The purpose of the agreement is to boost the agriculture industrial chain and encourage people to start their own business in rural areas. There is a huge potential for e-commerce in rural China as farmers begin selling products online. Last year, 22.4 percent of online shoppers came from rural areas.

“Developing e-commerce in rural areas is not only beneficial to entrepreneurship and employment, but also helpful to upgrading the economic growth mode at the county level and relieving poverty,” said Wang Xiaotao, deputy head of the NDRC.

Major Chinese e-commerce players like Alibaba  and JD have set up their service stations in villages to assist rural residents with Internet skills. Alibaba has already established 780 village service stations nationwide, and is expected to build a total of 100,000 stations by 2019. Total investment is projected to be around 10 billion yuan. (NA)

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