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Development of rural e-commerce in Tibet
By:China Tibet News
update:June 24,2020
June 24,2020 -- Southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region has been committed to expanding e-commerce into rural areas since 2015. With an investment of 449 million yuan RMB, 27 counties have engaged in promoting e-commerce, which greatly facilitates the development of local logistics and tourism. Now, as a complete e-commerce system is gradually established across the region, rural e-commerce has become an important way for boosting modernization, poverty alleviation and rural revitalization.
 
"Living far from Lhasa City and Shiquanhe Town, we have difficulty in selling local agricultural products and handcrafts. Therefore, it is important for local farmers and herdsmen to learn about online sales," says Phurbu Tashi, who works for the e-commerce business of Mendong Village, Coqen County, Ngari Prefecture, southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region.
 
In recent years, Mendong Village has been known as "the first e-commerce village in Tibet's Ngari" with its own brand "pioneer of west Tibet, red Ngari" that has been marketed out of Tibet through e-commerce platforms. Mendong Village has witnessed the whole course of the rapid development of Tibet's rural e-commerce starting from scratch.
 
Formation of e-commerce system
 
Rural e-commerce service stations bring benefits to farmers and herdsmen directly. The construction and operation of these stations is crucial for precision poverty alleviation via e-commerce.
 
Last year, a total of 300 million yuan RMB were scheduled to be poured into the construction of rural e-commerce demonstrations by the regional department of commerce. E-commerce service will cover all counties after one or two years.
 
To date, an e-commerce service system has been set up. There are 26 county-level e-commerce public service centers, 127 township-level service stations and 380 village-level service stations. 744 online stores are supported by local government, newly added 1,432 kinds of agricultural products are sold online. The online sales of agricultural and pastoral areas have reached 260 million yuan RMB.
 
Driving force for rural revitalization
 
Recently, an e-commerce-themed training meeting was held in Medog County of Nyingchi City, southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region. "This is Medog County’s first e-commerce training meeting aiming at exploring and developing rural e-commerce which will diversify local economy. As a part of major work of rural revitalization, it plays a significant role in advancing local economic development and poverty alleviation via consumption," says Wang Bin, the deputy chief of Medog County.
 
Now, e-commerce service stations have covered 35.6 % of registered impoverished villages, providing services for over 31,000 registered impoverished people. The modes of "nternet + tourism + agricultural products", "rural service stations + impoverished households" and "the Party construction + e-commerce + industrial development" continue to be explored.
 
Up to now, over 40,000 people (including 35,000 farmers, herdsmen and migrant workers) have received e-commerce training, which helps create 1,749 jobs. Some farmers and herdsmen have begun to buy tickets online by computers and mobile phones, and pay bills via Wechat or Alipay. People's life is gradually changing.
 
Improvement of e-commerce logistics system
 
"Impressive progress has been made in poverty alleviation via developing rural e-commerce. Nangxian County's Langdun Cooperative, for instance, gained a loan of 2.7 million yuan RMB from the Postal Savings Bank of China (PSBC) and actively enhanced its productive capacity. Its products are now sold nationwide on ULE.com, an e-commerce platform, which greatly expands sales channels," a worker from China Post says.
 
In recent years, despite rapid development of transportation in Tibet's agricultural and pastoral areas, herdsmen scattered across the vast lands are still faced with high cost of trade logistics and shortage of goods supply, especially in some remote areas with high altitudes.
 
In response to these problems, the regional department of commerce has started to set up a business and trade pilot system in Baingoin County of Nagqu City, exploring new ways for supplying goods, greatly meeting local residents' consumption demands. A new rural distribution model is gradually formed, which is supported by local government, joined by companies and delivered by cooperatives. The imbalance between supply and demand has been solved. Significant enhancement has been achieved in improving farmers and herdsmen's living standards.
 
Moreover, large logistics companies, like JD.com and SF Express, have started business in some cities of Tibet. Express companies have offered delivery services in counties and even some townships. A logistics system covering counties, towns and villages is taking shape.
 
By:Liu Fang, Zhu Shan
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