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China promotes e-commerce in rural areas

Xinhua, October 18, 2016 Adjust font size:

To boost rural development, China will push for faster growth of the e-commerce sector across its vast under-developed areas.

"Policy support will be given to small online retailers ... to lower their operational costs," the Ministry of Commerce announced Monday.

More will be done to support and nurture e-commerce businesses operating in rural regions, and training programs will be on offer to small business owners, according to guidance advice posted on the ministry's website.

Cooperation between e-commerce businesses and service providers that deal with rural consumers will be encouraged, infrastructure that supports or facilitates e-commerce in rural areas will be upgraded, and private investors will be encouraged to support the sector, it noted.

The document came as retail sales emerged as a major driver of China's economic growth. The country is transitioning from an export-reliant economy to a consumption-driven one. In 2015, consumption contributed 66.4 percent to China's gross domestic product (GDP), up 15.4 percentage points from 2014.

To further tap market potential, China is looking to exploit the ample retail opportunities in its underdeveloped rural areas and e-commerce sector.