China sees rapid development in rural e-commerce

BEIJING -- Since 2014, China has witnessed rapid development in rural e-commerce, driven by the country's increased support for this sector, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

By the end of last year, China's rural internet users exceeded 300 million, Li Gang, a ministry official, told a press conference on Tuesday.

The country's online retail sales in rural areas surged from 180 billion yuan ($25.08 billion) in 2014 to 2.17 trillion yuan in 2022, Li added.

E-commerce has brought farmers closer to the market and promoted entrepreneurship and employment in rural areas.

In 2022, online retail sales of agricultural products in China reached 531.38 billion yuan, up 9.2 percent year-on-year. By the end of last year, the number of rural online businesses exceeded 17.3 million, Li said.

He added that the ministry will focus on comprehensively promoting rural revitalization, promoting rural e-commerce as an important part of county-level commerce, and advancing the high-quality development of rural e-commerce in the next step.

The Chinese government on Monday released a three-year action plan with the goal of strengthening the nation's county-level commerce system further. The action plan seeks to promote the integrated development of urban and rural areas of China and rejuvenate the rural regions of the country.