|Jan. 26, 2018 -- The government of Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan Province signed a strategic cooperation agreement Wednesday with Chinese e-commerce giants, including JD.com and Alibaba's Tmall.
According to the agreement, the e-commerce companies will strengthen logistics services in the prefecture's villages, help local companies open online stores and expand the sales market for Ganzi's distinctive agricultural products.
"Through cooperation with these e-commerce companies, we can expand the market for local companies and increase incomes of poor farmers," said Xiao Youcai, the prefecture's government chief.
China has seen a boom in e-commerce in rural areas in recent years as the rural population increasingly went online for business and shopping.
According to Wang Huadong, a business promotion official in Ganzi, the e-commerce transaction volume in the prefecture surpassed 1.8 billion yuan (around 300 million U.S. dollars) last year, up 109 percent year on year.
With a permanent population of around 1.2 million in 2016, Ganzi is home to 25 ethnic groups, including Tibetan, Han, Hui and Yi. More than 81 percent of residents are Tibetans.
Due to harsh natural conditions and poor transportation, the prefecture still produces its original green agricultural products but has faced challenges in selling them.
"With more online business, I believe that our high-quality products can go elsewhere, and more local residents can cast off poverty," said Yelin Lhadron, who is in charge of a brand promotion company in Ganzi.