Internet moguls have pledged to further promote entrepreneurship and boost innovative growth in rural China, where netizens top 195 million.
E-commerce giant Alibaba signed cooperation agreements with the Ministry of Agriculture at a national conference on Sept. 6 and 7, which was chaired by Minister of Agriculture Han Changfu. The agreement aims to boost e-commerce in rural China through education and registration initiatives, which will also help to alleviate poverty in those areas.
More than 20,000 people are currently employed by Alibaba in over 300 counties across 29 provincial regions of China.
Addressing the conference, Liu Qiangdong, CEO of JD.com, said that some 90 percent of his employees come from rural China, and he himself grew up in a small village in Jiangsu province. To promote rural e-commerce, JD.com has established more than 1,000 local specialty shops and invited Party chiefs from 100 counties to advertise their county specialties.
With freezer storage in 10 cities, JD.com is now capable of delivering fruit and other fresh food within 24 hours in 20 cities, including Beijing, Shanghai and Chengdu. Liu added that the company has also invented multiple e-finance products to boost entrepreneurship among farmers. These advances include more accessible loans and e-commerce education.
The population of netizens in rural China had climbed to 195 million by 2015, with 170 million rural residents surfing the Internet via smartphones. Of the 350 Chinese counties that were responsible for more than 100 million RMB of trade on Taobao in 2015, 120 were located in central and western China.