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China's Alibaba to expand into rural market


05-26-2016 04:50 BJT

China's e-commerce giant Alibaba has held a Rural E-commerce Conference in Shandong's central city of Weifang. Local authorities say despite the nation-wide shrinkage in export last year, the city of Weifang has seen an increase because it embraced rural e-commerce. During the conference, business leaders and local officials discussed expanding e-commerce into some of China's poorest and remotest rural areas, as a way to alleviate poverty.

Figures show that one-third of China's villages lack the necessary infrastructure for logistics, and two-thirds still have no access to the Internet. As China pledges to complete Internet infrastructure for all villages by 2020, Alibaba says it is confident in tapping into the huge potential of rural purchasing power and productivity. Alibaba is the first and only online retailer in China to set up a sales and purchasing platform for rural residents.

"E-commerce can solve one of the biggest problems for rural residents – that is by helping them be equally informed about the market with urbanites. With just a click of a mouse, they can buy and sell what they want, making them an equal player in the market,"

"In a long run, we will also help build infrastructure in rural areas so that they can be better connected with cities, both on the road, and online," said Sun Lijun, partner of Alibaba Group.

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