China’s Village Live Streaming College set to boost farmers’ sales, fuel e-commerce growth

By Théophile Niyitegeka
On 4 May 2024 at 02:43

Based in China Music Valley, the Village Live Streaming College was inaugurated this week in Pinggu District, northern Beijing, marking a significant advancement in merging e-commerce with traditional farming practices.

The launch, attended by government officials and stakeholders, underscores a transformative shift in rural economic development through digital technology.

The college is envisioned as a critical catalyst in elevating the livelihoods of farmers by harnessing the power of digital platforms and empowering them with the necessary skills to navigate new technologies.

During the inaugural event on Tuesday, Mr. Ling Ji, Vice Minister of the Ministry of Commerce, emphasized the government’s dedication to revolutionizing the countryside’s economic model through cutting-edge industrial innovations.

"Our concerted efforts to modernize and adapt our strategies ensure that our rural communities are fully integrated into the digital age," Mr. Ling remarked.

Aligned with President Xi Jinping’s strategy to leverage e-commerce for boosting rural economies and increasing farmers’ incomes, this initiative has garnered substantial governmental support.

Already, e-commerce infrastructure has reached 1,429 counties, impacting over 150,000 rural communities and significantly enhancing their economic stature.

"E-commerce has fundamentally transformed rural life by making quality food more accessible and affordable, while also markedly increasing agricultural revenue," Mr. Ling added.

The academy promotes a direct-to-consumer model that allows farmers to bypass traditional, often less efficient, supply chains, thus maximizing their earnings.

The rise of live streaming e-commerce has been particularly transformative. This innovative method connects farmers directly with consumers, allowing them to present and sell their products in real time.

The success of this approach is evidenced by the substantial increase in agricultural sales and overall revenue in rural areas.

Enhancements such as the integration of big data and direct delivery systems have further optimized the efficiency and scope of rural e-commerce.

"Utilizing big data, we can streamline the supply chain and deliver products directly to consumers, thereby enhancing the purchasing experience and significantly boosting farmer incomes," Mr. Ling explained, highlighting the consistent growth in retail sales through e-commerce over the past six years.

Looking forward, Mr. Ling reaffirmed the government’s commitment to expand this successful e-commerce model throughout China.

"Our aim is to extend this development nationwide, enhancing both digital and physical commerce capabilities in rural areas," he declared.

Future initiatives include comprehensive training programs for e-commerce entrepreneurs, talent development, and the deployment of modern commerce facilities, such as widespread adoption of online payment systems.

As China continues to dominate as the world’s largest online retail market—a position it has held for 11 consecutive years—the significance of these developments cannot be overstated.

In 2022 alone, e-commerce transactions in China totaled an impressive 43.83 trillion yuan (approximately 6.17 trillion U.S. dollars).

The online sales of physical commodities now account for over 25 percent of the nation’s total retail sales of consumer goods, signifying the e-commerce sector’s role as a pivotal force in China’s ongoing digital transformation.

With the employment numbers in the e-commerce sector soaring from 47 million to more than 70 million over the past five years, and Silk Road e-commerce collaborations extending to 30 countries, the Village Live Streaming Academy stands as a vital link in nurturing the next generation of rural entrepreneurs, poised to sustain and advance China’s leadership in the global digital economy.

A farmer at the college during a live streaming session.
The Academy promotes a direct-to-consumer model that allows farmers to bypass traditional, often less efficient, supply chains, thus maximizing their earnings.