Alibaba Group has kicked off its second Ali Chinese New Year Shopping Festival (阿里年货节) with a lineup of activities that not only encourage trade between urban and rural areas, but more importantly help send a message of warmth and hope to countless rural families who are separated because of work and other economic reasons.
Using its strengths as a marketplace, big data and logistics, Alibaba will again help rural communities sell their products to cities dwellers so they can stock up on Spring Festival supplies and along the way help give rural economies a lift. At the same time, quality products from all over the world will be brought to Chinese consumers as they celebrate the most important festival on the Chinese calendar.
Twelve “village celebrities” will conduct live broadcasts via Tmall and Taobao mobile apps and show urban consumers how some of the farm produce are harvested and processed before they end up as delicacies on the dining table.
For the elderly and children who are left behind in villages, Rural Taobao’s local services booking platform are mobilising its merchants to give away family portrait packages to 10,000 families across 20 counties, as well as organising a Chinese New Year’s Eve banquet for 6,000 tables so they can share in a moment of warmth and togetherness.
Sun Lijun, vice president of Alibaba Group who oversees the company’s rural business division, said, “Alibaba strives to create closer connections between urban and rural areas in China, narrowing the wealth gap and improving the living standard of those who live in villages. Having launched Rural Taobao in 2014, we are continuing to do more than just promoting online trade – we are striving to serve the real needs of village dwellers by also making health services, entrepreneurial support, public welfare services and more available to them.”