A report last year from Alibaba said there are now 211 villages Taobao, against only 20 the previous year.
They are about 70,000 merchants on Taobao
and Alibaba is actively investing in the growth of these figures.
Alibaba, which estimates that the rural market will be worth 460 billion yuan (74 billion dollars) in 2016, is one of many companies trying to cash in. JD.com, another major e-commerce player in China, sent a team on a six -month tour of the country, showing how people buy products on its site.
Rural population of China is so large that increasing the number of e-commerce on a global scale as it comes online. According to a new report by the research firm eMarketer, the country already has more mainstream buyers of digital world: 407 600 000 inhabitants, followed by the USA with 171.8 million. In 2019, it is expected to add another 139 million, primarily less urbanized areas as internet access expands.
"In rural areas, where the income starts to catch up, it is they who are going online to buy everything, because they have no access," Haixia Wang, forecasting vice president for the firm Research eMarketer says Quartz
. "There are no shopping malls, and if you want access to brands online could be the first choice."
All three are known as "Taobao villages," rural communities where at least 10% of the population makes a living by selling products online, mainly on Taobao.com, Alibaba market consumer to consumer opportunity. They part of a radical change happens in the Asia-Pacific region, driven by China in particular, where millions of new buyers and sellers in rural communities not linked in advance are brought online, which helps fuel a surge in e-commerce.
Wal-Mart, the largest retailer in the world, said the acquisition of the participation would help accelerate its e-commerce business in China and to stimulate coordination between physical stores and online. He did not disclose the price paid for the game, which was purchased from former executives Ping An and financial services group.
Asia head of Wal-Mart Scott Price told Reuters earlier this year that the online retail was important to help exploit the younger generations of China and that the firm would increasingly turn to weave his presence online and offline in the market.
Walmart enter into Chinese ecommerce Market
Wal-Mart, Carrefour SA of France and Tesco PLC of Britain have all seen sales growth slip in the last five years in China, losing market share to local rivals, according to the firm consumption analysis Kantar Worldpanel.
The US retailer also announced Thursday that company insider Wang Lu will take the reins of Yihaodian. CEO and president of the company e-commerce had ceased earlier this month "to pursue their next adventure."
Although they do not have the same level of wealth as their urban counterparts, buyers in the less developed areas of China
spend almost as much on online purchases, and also spend a larger share of their disposable income, according to a 2013 report by the McKinsey research firm. Their main categories for online purchases include apparel, tea, cosmetics, and food, according to Wang, and online shopping is particularly popular when local products have no quality standards or highest security, as is often the case for makeup and baby products.
E-commerce in rural China still faces some major challenges, namely the infrastructure. In less developed areas, roads and bad conditions, it can be difficult for retailers to distribute and deliver packets, for example. And while rural Chinese are willing to spend online, they are still relatively poor, which limits their purchasing power and the resources they can invest to create businesses.
Although e-commerce itself can be part of the solution. Alibaba believes e-commerce has created 280,000 job opportunities in rural China in 2014, and last July, the government took 55 poor counties for 20 million yuan each. The money was to help them develop their e-commerce industries in order to reduce poverty.
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