On October 24, 2022, the National Rural Revitalization Administration published Typical Social Assistance Cases in Helping Consolidate and Expand Poverty Alleviation Achievements to Effectively Promote Rural Revitalization (First Batch). Alibaba Group was among the 36 typical cases selected for its efforts in setting up a distribution center in Yijun County, Shaanxi Province, to market agricultural products online and enhance the brand awareness of Pu'an tea in Guizhou.
To set an example for others, the National Rural Revitalization Administration selected 36 typical cases that are innovative, representative, and replicable. These cases cover collaboration between the eastern and western regions of China, paired assistance from government offices, and assistance from enterprises and social organizations. Eight units including the China Foundation for Rural Development, the Securities Association of China, and Alibaba were selected as typical cases of assistance from enterprises and social organizations.
To address the poor sale of agricultural products in Yijun, Alibaba sent public welfare rural revitalization commissioners there to assist the local government in building and operating the "Cainiao County Distribution Center". The center is expected to secure the last mile of rural logistics and online channels for agricultural products. Alibaba also attempts to boost the sale of agricultural products by leveraging such new channels as live streaming and its own platform. In 2021, it helped Yijun County sell more than RMB 100 million of agricultural products and promoted the opening of more than 100 online stores.
The price for half a kilo of Yijun corn grits with free shipping, for example, has lowered to RMB 5.8 from RMB 16 in 2019, mainly because the shipping fee has been reduced by about RMB 10. In 2021, more than 500,000 kilos of Yijun corn grits were sold through the e-commerce platform, an increase of ten thousand times compared with two years ago.
(Figure 1 Cainiao County Distribution Center in Yijun County, Shaanxi Province)
Alibaba has also launched the "Better Design, Better County" public welfare project in Yijun, encouraging public welfare designers to tap into Yijun's traditional cultural resources and redesign the packaging of local agricultural products such as apples to broaden the reach of the Yijun brand.
From 2019 to 2021, Yijun apples jumped from 660th to 13th in Taobao's nationwide sales ranking. Yijun County was also selected as one of the "Top 100 Counties in Empowering Agricultural Products with Digital Technologies" in 2021.
(Figure 2 Alibaba rural revitalization commissioner Liu Yahui and local fruit farmers are promoting Yijun apples)
Other cases selected also mention Alibaba's assistance to the tea industry in Pu'an, Guizhou. Since 2019, Alibaba has sent two rural commissioners to Pu'an, Guizhou. They not only organized and participated in the Taobao rural live streaming plan and coordinated influencers to promote products but also designed a new product called "Stick Tea" for Pu'an Tea under the "Better Design, Better County" public welfare project. The design of this tea makes it more convenient for drinkers to stir the tea. In 2021 alone, they helped to sell nearly RMB 10 million of Pu'an tea, greatly boosting its popularity.
(Figure 3 A new "Stick Tea" for Pu'an, which can be drunk while stirring, designed by Alibaba)
At the 2022 Tmall Double 11 Kickoff Meeting held on the same day, Alibaba revealed that it would launch the "One More Agriproduct" initiative during the Double 11, calling each Taobao live streaming room to promote one agricultural product. This initiative would make more quality agricultural products be been by more customers and the land worthwhile.
In July 2022, Alibaba announced the "Hometown Initiative 2022", indicating its continuous efforts in the industry, talent, and technology to contribute to the revitalization of rural areas. Digital technologies are extending their tentacles from table to land, from urban to rural areas to constantly bring rural revitalization to a higher level.