Syndicate content


E-commerce for poverty alleviation in rural China: from grassroots development to public-private partnerships

Xubei Luo's picture
Also available in: 中文
A young woman is selling products on-line. Photo: Xubei Luo/World Bank

China’s rapid development of e-commerce has begun to reshape production and consumption patterns as well as change people’s daily lives. In 2016, the World Bank and the Alibaba Group launched a joint research initiative to examine how China has harnessed digital technologies to aid growth and expand employment opportunities through e-commerce development in rural areas. The research seeks to distill lessons and identify policy options to enhance the positive effect of e-commerce on the reduction of poverty and inequality. Emerging findings from that research show that rural e-commerce evolves from grassroots development to become a potential tool for poverty alleviation with public-private partnerships.

E-commerce has grown quickly in China. Total e-commerce trade volume increased from less than 1,000 billion yuan (US$120.8 billion) in 2004 to nearly 30,000 billion yuan (US$4.44 trillion) in 2017. While e-commerce is more developed in urban areas, online retail sales in rural areas have grown faster than the national average. From 2014 to 2017, online retail sales in rural China increased from RMB 180 billion to 1.24 trillion, a compound annual growth rate of 91%, compared to 35% nationally.


Xubei Luo's picture
Also available in: English
一位女店主正在网上销售产品。 摄影:骆许蓓/世界银行


中国电子商务增长迅速。2004年至2017年,电商交易总额从不到1万亿元人民币(约合1208亿美元)增至近30万亿元人民币(约合4.44万亿美元 )。尽管电子商务在城镇的发展水平更高,但网上零售额在农村地区增长更快。2014年至2017年,中国农村网上零售额 从1800亿元增至1.24万亿元,年均复合增长率达91%,而同期的全国平均水平为35%。

Grassroots Business Initiative shows social enterprises how to fish

Michael Figueroa's picture

The Grassroots Business Initiative (GBI) is the brainchild of the World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation (IFC).  Launched in 2004, the GBI supports innovative social enterprises – dubbed Grassroots Business Organizations (GBOs) – that directly engage the poor as