(Yicai Global) June 4 -- On the occasion of China's International Children's Day, a special teacher called "Tmall Genie" has been introduced in Qiancun, central China's Henan province. This was the first time when internet giant Alibaba Group Holding unveiled this artificial intelligence product in rural areas and undertook the task of providing a public library dedicated to answering questions and helping the rural children.
It will be replicated in more than 500 rural Taobao, the trading platform of Alibaba, shops across the country in the future. The children raised such difficult questions as, "What makes a blue sky?" and "Why is the tiger running so fast?" which parents always find difficult to answer. However, Tmall Genie was handy providing easy answers to such questions.
In rural areas, there are few teachers with bachelor's degree, Li Bin, manager of Taobao shop in Qiancun told Yicai Global. Consequently, children can barely satisfy their thirst for knowledge.
"By integrating tens of thousands sets of books in audio-video format, Tmall Genie project is capable of delivering a more vivid learning process for children. In the follow-up stage, we will continue updating the contents of Tmall Genie to offer more equal educational opportunities to rural children with the help of technologies," said Wang Wanlin, general manager of user experience of Alibaba's AI Labs.
"When visiting the rural area, I found that this area suffered a much more severe shortage of pre-school education resources than cities," Sun Defang, Assistant Dean of College of Education, Hangzhou Normal University told Yicai Global.
Tmall Genie initiative in the countryside also enriches the service content for rural Taobao shops.
The village-level service stations set up by Taobao.com, run by Zhejiang Taobao Network owned by Alibaba, in rural areas primarily act as the online buying agents for agricultural supplies, household appliances, clothing and shoes, student supplies and other commodities. They also function as the online selling agents for local agricultural products and other featured products, as well as online payment, start-up cultivation, and local life services, Yicai Global learned.
After making the rural strategy as one of its core projects in July 2014, Alibaba has built over 28,000 rural Taobao service outlets in nearly 500 counties across China, with a view to elevating such outlets to become ecological service, business incubation and cultural centers in local areas.
Presently, Alibaba, JD.Com, Suning and other leading e-commerce giants in China have been making big moves in the countryside to drive the rapid development of rural e-commerce by means of Rural Taobao and JD Fuwubang.
Editor: Mevlut Katik