Alibaba Stimulates China’s Rural Online Retail

Using its strengths in marketplace, big data and logistics, Alibaba Group will help rural communities sell their products to cities dwellers so they can stock up on Spring Festival supplies and along the way help give rural economies a lift. At the same time, quality products from all over the world will be brought to Chinese consumers as they celebrate the most important festival on the Chinese calendar.

alibaba Rural Taobao chinese new year e-commerce

Highlights of this year’s upcomg Chinese New Year Shopping Festival include:

Promotion of two-way trade:

To promote trade between rural and urban regions,’s fresh food channel will introduce fresh fruit and meat produce from abroad, such as cherries from Australia, orange roughies from New Zealand and kurobuta pork from the US, to Chinese consumers. At the same time, poultry and meat from villages, including chicken from Qingyuan County of Guangdong Province, beef from the Horqin Grassland of Inner Mongolia, organic mutton from licorice-fed lambs in Gansu Province, yak meat from Aba of Sichuan-Tibet Plateau, and mutton from Yanchi County of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, will be brought to dining tables in the cities.

Live broadcasts about rural produce:

To give urban consumers peace of mind about rural produce, 12 “village celebrities” will conduct live broadcasts via Tmall and Taobao mobile apps and show urban consumers how some of the farm produce are harvested and processed before they end up as delicacies on the dining table.

Rural family reunion photo project:

For rural children whose parents have gone to cities to find work, Chinese New Year is often the only time when they get to see their parents when they return home. For communities where a family photo is often considered a luxury, Rural Taobao’s local services booking platform are mobilising its merchants to give away family portrait packages to 10,000 families across 20 counties as a first step that Alibaba says is to assist bring families closer together.

Rural employment platform:

A one-stop village employment platform will be launched by Rural Taobao in January to provide job information for workers returning to their home villages for the Chinese new year holidays. Through the project, it is hoped that some of them will be able to find work closer to home. As a part of the project, Rural Taobao representatives will assist job seekers in completing their résumés and entering their information on the platform.

New Year Eve’s banquet:

For the elderly and children who are left behind in villages, Rural Taobao is organising a Chinese new year’s eve banquet for 6,000 tables of guests so they can share in a moment of warmth and togetherness.

Sun Lijun, Vice President of Alibaba Group who oversees the company’s rural business division, said, “Alibaba strives to create closer connections between urban and rural areas in China, narrowing the wealth gap and improving the living standard of those who live in villages.”

Alibaba Group launched Rural Taobao in 2014, mainly as a platform to promote rural online trade. Alibaba Group Holding Limited is a Chinese e-commerce company that provides consumer-to-consumer, business-to-consumer and business-to-business sales services via web portals. It also provides electronic payment services, a shopping search engine and data-centric cloud computing services. The group began in 1999 when Jack Ma founded the website, a business-to-business portal to connect Chinese manufacturers with overseas buyers. 

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