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Farmers learn to sell oranges via live-streaming


02-07-2017 08:43 BJT

2016 was the year of live streaming, and it's been crucial to the growth of some industries. It's changed people's lives, and the way they do business. In central China's Hunan Province, a local farmer has learned to sell oranges by live streaming. 

When one thinks of oranges in Hunan province's Yan Jiawu village, one man comes to mind.

Wang Yongsong has been growing oranges on his 13-acre farm for many years. He's harvested about 100-thousand kilograms since October last year.

But he says business isn't always booming, and survival has been tough. In 2014, he failed to sell 60 percent of his oranges.

"Looking at the oranges and thinking that all the hard work I put in over the years was in vain, I felt very sad," Wang said.

The farm's remote location and inadequate infrastructure in the area are big problems Wang Yongsong shares with more than 200 other farmers living in the middle of the mountain.

But instead of letting his farm wither, Wang decided to take a different approach -- selling oranges online.

Shu Xinghua is from T-Mall-dot-com, an e-commerce platform owned by Alibaba. He and others from the company came to the village three years ago to help farmers boost sales by learning new technology.

"The Internet is convenient. One of the services is live-streaming and it’s developing fast," Shu said.

Over the Internet, farmers are encouraged to connect with potential customers by live-streaming. This way, customers get first-hand information about where the products are grown.

A total of 40,000 kilograms of fruit can be sold out during a two-hour live-stream.

Out of curiosity, Wang Yongsong gave it a try after practicing with his niece.

"Hello, my name is Wang Yongsong. I’m an orange farmer from Huaihua City of Hunan. This is my farm. The fruits are all natural," Wang said.

To his surprise, more than 20-thousand people tuned in to his stream. And orders came in after just a few seconds.

In just a year, Wang bought a new house, as well as a 200 square meter store room for the oranges. Now, others in his village have joined the e-commerce rush.

More people in China are shopping online, and these farmers, from a hard-to-reach area of the country, hope this trend continues to bear fruit.

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