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China to improve telecom services in rural, remote areas

Xinhua, October 15, 2015 Adjust font size:

The State Council, China's Cabinet, on Wednesday decided to improve broadband in rural and remote areas.

Stronger telecom services will help attract investment and fuel coordinated development, narrowing the gap between urban and rural areas, said a statement released after a State Council executive meeting presided over by Premier Li Keqiang.

The meeting urged more input from the central budget, more support from local policies and capital, more telecom construction and maintenance from private capital, more public-private partnerships, as well as stricter supervision of subsidies.

By 2020, 50,000 more villages will get access to broadband and 30 million rural households will enjoy upgraded services. The total investment is estimated to hit more than 140 billion yuan.

The meeting also stressed the importance of e-commerce, saying faster expansion of e-commerce in rural areas will stimulate consumption, benefit farmers and support the real economy.

Private investment is encouraged to explore channels for agricultural products to enter urban market. Poor areas will be given priority to set up pilot e-commerce villages.

E-commerce training and infrastructure will be improved.

Forged and fake goods will be tackled, and credit support like loans and interest subsidies are expected.

The meeting called for faster development of express couriers to lower cost and provide jobs.

The State Council suggested mergers of delivery companies, easier license acquisition and customs clearance, better cooperation between delivery and e-commerce, safer and faster delivery services, and more mortgages and leasing businesses for the industry.