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Internet Plus aids poverty reduction

China Daily by Hou Liqiang, July 6, 2017 Adjust font size:

China will make full use of Internet Plus to involve people from all walks of life in helping the remaining 43 million people in the country who live in poverty.

As part of the effort, a government-sponsored online platform has been established and has attracted about 100,000 warmhearted users who would like to contribute, poverty-relief authorities said in a news conference organized by the State Council Information Office on Wednesday.

The country is pressed for time to lift all people out of poverty by 2020, which is when the central government has pledged to finish building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, and it's taking advanced measures to fulfill the task.

As an important impetus for the development, Internet Plus could offer strong support in the poverty alleviation campaign, the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development said in a statement.

Hong Tianyun, deputy director of the leading group office, said a network platform, using new technologies such as big data, has been established to promote online philanthropy as a response to the central leadership's call to make full use of Internet Plus in poverty alleviation.

The platform has 100,000 registered donors connected to 40,000 needy families, though it has only been launched as a trial in 11 cities in six provincial regions, Hong said.

With five sub-platforms, including donations, an online store and crowd funding, the platform can be accessed online and via a mobile app, or on WeChat.

Poverty-stricken people have published 50,000 posts seeking help on the website and one-fifth of the requests have been met, Gao said.

It will get more difficult to lift the remaining people out of poverty, but the network platform could mobilize social powers and bridge them with people from poverty-stricken areas using e-commerce, said Qu Tianjun, another official with the leading group office.

Liu Xiang, an official who oversees the network platform, said the government will also help poverty-stricken people with medical services and education through the platform.

China lifted 12.4 million rural residents out of poverty last year. There are still 43.3 million people living below the poverty line of 2,300 yuan ($340) in annual income, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.