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Chinese e-commerce platforms push grown-in-Hubei goods to kick-start local economy

JD.com, Alibaba, and Pinduoduo plan to sell millions of tons of Hubei products to revitalize the coronavirus-ravaged region.

Photo: Provided to KrASIA by Pinduoduo

Alibaba, JD.com and Pinduoduo are all promoting food produced in central China’s Hubei province to help the region revitalize its coronavirus-ravaged economy.

Hubei, which became the epicenter of the health crisis as the virus first spread there, had been until recently under lockdown for more than two months. Now, authorities have permitted residents (except those in the capital, Wuhan) to return to work and to travel since March 25. Assuming no new cases, restrictions on Wuhan residents are expected to be lifted on April 8.

Taobao plans to sell 1.2 million tons of agricultural products on its platform in 2020, according to a press releases from Alibaba released on Thursday. A special made-in-Hubei section, featuring oranges, eggs, tea, and more, went live on company’s app on March 31.

In another press release on Thursday, Alibaba said its retail grocery arm, Hema, will source crayfish worth RMB 1 billion (USD 141 million) from Hubei vendors in 2020 and distribute them via their various business units, including Hema stores, Taobao, Tmall, and Juhusuan.

Likewise, JD.com is also playing its part. The Beijing-based e-commerce company said its fresh food unit JD Fresh plans to sell RMB 6 billion (USD 845 million) worth of Hubei crayfish, through its proprietary stores on the platform as well as through third-party sellers.

Social e-commerce platform Pinduoduo also announced its own initiative. In a press release on Wednesday, the company said it will work with the Hubei government to select and invite dozens of county or city leaders to livestream their products. Previously, Pinduoduo managed to sell 30 tons of produce when it promoted oranges from Yichang, Hubei, via livestream on March 15, garnering more than 1.25 million viewers.