China's 'Taobao Villages' top 4,000: AliResearch

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The number of "Taobao Villages," each having online shopping transactions exceeding 10 million yuan (about 1.4 million U.S. dollars), has surpassed 4,000, according to a report released by internet giant Alibaba.

The concept of "Taobao Villages" appeared for the first time in 2009 when only three such villages met the standard, according to AliResearch, the research arm of Alibaba Group. In 2013, a total of 20 Taobao Villages were recorded and its number reached 4,310 as of June this year.

To be nominated as a Taobao Village, Alibaba requires total annual e-commerce transactions of over 10 million yuan. Furthermore, a Taobao Village should have more than 100 businesses, or at least 10 percent of households involved in e-commerce.

The Taobao Villages are located in 25 Chinese municipalities, provinces and regions with Zhejiang having the most at over 1,500.

The development of Taobao Villages has helped lift many rural areas out of poverty through encouraging online sales of farm produce and local specialties. Along with the development, Alibaba and local authorities have improved roads, broadband internet services, power supply and logistics to support farmers in setting up online stores.

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