Rural China Host to Over 250 Million Netizens, E-commerce Expands over 8-fold in Five Years

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The increasing penetration of the Internet into China’s rural communities is driving the breakneck expansion of e-commerce in the countryside.

Figures by released China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) indicate that rural villages in China are currently host to over 250 billion internet users, with an increasing number making use of online platforms to access goods and services.

During the period from 2014 to 2019 online retail sales in China’s rural village communities increased from 180 billion yuan to 1.7 trillion yuan, for an 8.4-fold expansion in just a five year period.

E-commerce is also helping rural residents to better access far-flung markets to sell their products.

In 2019 China’s nationwide rural product online retail sales amount was 397.5 billion yuan, for a YoY rise of 27%, helping to increase the incomes of over 3 million rural residents in impoverished areas.

Hai Bingnan (王炳南), deputy-head of MOFCOM, said that the authority would adopt measures to further drive rural e-commerce in China.

“At present the development of rural e-commerce has seen marked successes, but here are still a number of deficiencies, for example the low level of industrial supply chains, high logistics costs and lack of human resources .

“With regard to these issues MOFCOM’s next move will be to work with the Ministry of Finance and other departments to strengthen rural village infrastructure development, drive the commercial and trade growth of the countryside, and clear out bi-directional channels between the city and the countryside.”

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