(Yicai Global) May 12 -- The ranks of China’s rural internet users has exceeded 250 million, according to Commerce Vice Minister Wang Bingnan.
As e-commerce expands into the countryside, online trading has become a norm for farmers, changing their lives and production habits, Wang said at a press conference today.
E-commerce has not only brought more services and goods to these locales and changed lifestyles and spending habits there, it has also brought farmers closer to the market, so their products sell far and wide and for higher prices, Wang said.
The minister pointed out that e-commerce has been developing rapidly in rural areas in recent years, with online sales nationwide rising 8.4 times to CNY1.7 trillion (USD239.6 billion) last year from CNY180 billion (USD25.4 billion) in 2014.
China’s online retail sales of farm products reached CNY39.75 billion last year, up 27 percent from 2018, boosting the income of more than 3 million farmers living in poverty, Wang said, adding that the number of online rural vendors jumped to 13.8 million at the end of last year.
With rural e-commerce still facing poor supply chains, high logistics costs and a shortage of talent, Wang said the ministry will work with other government agencies to advance the formation of e-commerce cluster districts in counties targeting distinctive local farm products, promote the development of rural logistics and distribution systems, and train e-commerce talent.
Editor: Peter Thomas