Alibaba controls a large part of China's e-commerce and is doing its best to spread their business in the country's most remote places. The e-commerce giant estimates that the rural market will be worth $74 billion in 2016 and is doing its best to cash in by helping chinese villagers to go online and create "Taobao villages".
A Taobao village is a cluster of rural e-tailers where at least 10% of village households engage in e-commerce or at least 100 online shops have been opened by villagers; and total annual e-commerce transaction volume in the village is at least RMB 10 million, about $1.5 million.
Opportunities for Impoverished Regions
Last year the number of Taobao villages grew more than tenfold, from 20 at the end of 2013 to 211 villages at the end of 2014, and the e-commerce has continued to surge in rural China. According to China Daily, there are currently 780 Taobao villages, an increase of nearly 270 percent compared to a year ago.
According to a report from AliResearch, the research arm of the Alibaba Group, the 780 villages are located in 17 different Chinese provinces and regions where most of them are situated in Zhejiang, Guangdong and Jiangsu. The report also shows that a majority of the villages are located along the coast and that 176 of the villages are in impoverished regions.