Alibaba reportedly is dipping its toes into underserved rural areas China by putting RMB 4.5 billion yuan (around $716.8 million) into a local rural e-commerce platform Huitongda Network as e-commerce growth in urban cities plateaued these years. Huitongda covers more than 200m Chinese rural population through the 80,000 shops (many are mom-and-pop businesses) in 15,000 towns across 18 provinces.
Recent years have seen a spike in rural e-tailing business as e-commerce infrastructure such as logistics and delivery networks keep growing in China’s hinterlands. In addition to Alibaba, it’s archrival JD is also eyeing this opportune new trend.
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