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China's rural areas surpass cities in growth of digital consumption

Xinhua | Updated: 2019-01-30 10:54

The head of an e-commerce service station (left) in the Tibet autonomous region introduces a local specialty to a customer. [Photo provided to China Daily]

HANGZHOU - Alibaba's Tuesday report shows that China's rural areas are growing faster than some first-tier cities in digital consumption.

Statistics indicate that the growth rate of digital spending on Alibaba's e-commerce platforms in rural areas reached 23.8 percent last year, 4.5 percent higher than that in first-tier cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

The huge consumption potential in rural areas would be turned into a major engine of growth as a result of the digital economy, more internet access and faster logistics, said the report.

Moreover, the internet will narrow the gap between the country's developed eastern regions and the less-developed remote areas.

The report suggests that digital consumption further drives the sales of agricultural products in rural areas as more farmers turn to live-streaming and other popular internet marketing tools to attract customers.

In 2018, State-level impoverished counties sold goods worth over 63 billion yuan ($9.4 billion) on Alibaba's online shopping platforms, with the most popular hits being agricultural products.

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