According to the Report on China's Rural E-Commerce Development (2016-2017), online retail sales in rural areas in the first half of 2017 totaled 537.6 billion yuan (US$81.0 billion), up 38.1% over the same period last year, a rate 4.9 percentage points higher than that in urban areas.
Rural online sales now account for 17.3% of the total in China; in the first eight months of 2017, rural online retail sales reached 729 billion yuan (US$109.8 billion), an increase of 38.1%.
Li Mingtao, president of the China International e-Commerce Center, said that e-commerce has never been seen as a main driving force in rural markets and the rural economy, leaving a lot of room for development; he referred to it as a "hidden treasure". With the support of government, and driven by rural and young entrepreneurs, rural e-commerce has made significant progress and developed rapidly in recent years.
In the first half of 2017 online retail sales of physical goods to rural consumers rea...
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