E-commerce still a propeller of China's poverty alleviation amid COVID-19

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E-commerce platforms have logged robust performance in rural areas, especially in impoverished regions, despite disruptions brought by COVID-19, the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said Thursday.

E-retailers in the country's 832 national-level poverty-stricken counties registered online sales of 56.6 billion yuan (about 8.02 billion U.S. dollars) in the first quarter, up 5 percent year on year, said MOC spokesperson Gao Feng at a press conference.

The pace is 1.9 percentage points higher than the average growth of China's rural areas.

Meanwhile, sales of agricultural products from these poor counties through e-commerce platforms surged 49.7 percent to 8.32 billion yuan in the three-month period, said Gao.

Over 85 percent of the 2.47 million e-commerce platforms in these counties have resumed work by the end of March, he said.

Gao pledged that the country will further encourage e-commerce in rural areas with multi-pronged measures such as optimizing relevant services, bolstering the construction of logistics infrastructure and smoothing channels of farm produce sales.

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