BEIJING, Sept. 22 (Xinhua) -- Poverty alleviation through consumption has been a key driving force for industrial development in China's impoverished areas, catching the wave of flourishing e-commerce in recent years to lift those reeling under the clutches of poverty.
Last January, when farmers in Ningling County, central China's Henan Province, frowned over their unsalable pear syrup produced in a poverty relief workshop, China E-commerce Poverty Alleviation Alliance extended a helping hand.
Zhejiang Gejia Network Technology, a member of the alliance, made the pear products available on its e-commerce platform and received more than 6,000 orders in the first 48 hours, thereby solving the urgent needs of fruit growers in the county once marred by poverty.
"We conducted field research and upgraded the workshop," said Huang Jinqiu, a company official. "Last September, we started selling Ningling's fresh pears online, with monthly sales volume exceeding 100,000 kg."
From February to March, when the COVID-19 epidemic was at its worst in the country, Ningling's poverty alleviation workshop however witnessed a counter-trend growth with more than 50,000 orders of 125,000 kg of pears, according to Huang.
Li Xiaolin, chairman of the China E-commerce Poverty Alleviation Alliance, said that in the first half of this year, despite the adverse impact of COVID-19, the alliance had helped sell more than 2 billion yuan (about 295 million U.S. dollars) worth of agricultural products from underprivileged areas.
The alliance, consisting of 29 member enterprises such as e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, has helped with sales of more than 5 billion yuan worth of agricultural and specialty products from the country's poverty-stricken areas as of September, Li said.
"E-commerce has played an important role in China's fight against poverty and the epidemic," said Ma Xinming, director of the Office of Beijing Municipal Leading Group for Poverty Reduction Cooperation and Assistance.
E-commerce giant JD.com facilitated the work resumption of the suppliers of poverty relief goods in Hubei Province, once hit hard by COVID-19. Kuaishou, a leading short-video platform, launched a live streaming show in June to help with the sales of products in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. Enterprises, including Baidu, Sina and Tencent, established an alliance for online sales of products from poverty-stricken areas.
"As a new driving force for economic growth in China's poor areas, e-commerce has helped increase the income of poor people and promoted the supply-side structural reform in agriculture," Ma said. Enditem