China’s Farmers Leverage Village Live-Streaming to Boost Rural Economy

More than 10,000 livestreamers in China’s rural areas participated in Alibaba’s a week-long livestreaming Harvest Festival, driving its local economy with the leverage of the trending technology.

The livestreaming event, sponsored by Alibaba‘s philanthropy division and Taobao Live, attracted not only the top influencers from Taobao but also the village livestreamers who sell products from winter jujubes, kiwi fruits to pomegranate and plum.

Livestreaming is a highly popular tool for merchants to boost its sales in China. Since September this year, 200,000 livestreaming events have been carried out on Taobao to help farmers, who are lack of sales channels, attract more than 700 million views from consumers and generating 4 million orders. One example was the Harvest Festival held on September 23, during which 390,000 bottles of Fan Si Shu chili paste from Yongshun, Hunan province were sold – equivalent to 255 tons of chili peppers. 10 tons of chestnut kernels from Qinglong County, Hebei Province were sold – equivalent to the production of 700 chestnut trees.

(Source: Alibaba)

This year, in addition to products, the village livetreamers also share their colorful lifestyle, which has attracted many fans, and it may facilitate rural tourism in the near future.

According to Alibaba’s 2020-2021 social responsibility report, since the launch of its rural livestreamer program in March 2019, more than 110,000 hosts have carried out 3.3 million livestreaming events on Taobao, driving 15 billion yuan ($2.08 billion) in sales of agricultural products.

The annual Harvest Festival plays a huge role in helping rural revitalization. According to the first observation released by Alibaba, China’s western region has had a bright performance this year, with the sales growth rate of 19.3% in 160 key counties under the support of the government’s rural revitalization policy. Six of the top 10 counties with the highest-quality agricultural products in the country are also from the western region, and Gansu Province leads the country in growth rate.

This year, agricultural products from counties with poor logistics are known by more consumers through online sales channels, and the gap between the eastern and western regions is effectively shrinking. At the same time, benefiting from the improvement of cold chain logistics, more fresh fruit was sold all over the country.

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On July 25 this year, Alibaba released its “Hot Land Plan 2022,” which started with 18 new measures covering industry, professional talent, science and technology, and consolidation of poverty alleviation achievements to help rural revitalization and bring the power of digitalization to more villages. Last year, 832 poverty-alleviation counties notched sales of 128.1 billion yuan on Alibaba‘s platforms, up more than 16% year-on-year.

In the future, Alibaba‘s philanthropy division will not only send outstanding employees to rural areas, but it will also work with Taobao Livestreaming to cultivate digital agricultural talent.