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UN, Alibaba cooperate to improve China's rural e-commerce infrastructure

Xinhua, July 12, 2017 Adjust font size:

The United Nations announced Monday that it will join hands with Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba to increase spending on China's rural e-commerce infrastructure.

A total of 200 million U.S. dollars will be allocated by the UN for construction of rural e-commerce infrastructure in China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, Sichuan and Shaanxi provinces, said Lakshmi Puri, UN Assistant Secretary-General and deputy executive director of UN Women.

Rural Taobao provides a very good platform for women in Chinese villages to start their own businesses and make a living by selling products online, Puri said at the 2017 Global Conference on Women and Entrepreneurship which opened in Hangzhou on Monday.

Rural Taobao is an ambitious effort by Alibaba to turn China's hundreds of millions of rural residents into online shoppers and sellers. It also underscores the potential of e-commerce to fuel economic activity and eliminate poverty in the country's poorer, largely agrarian regions.

So far, more than 30,000 "Taobao villages" have been set up in China and 45 percent of the online business owners are women.