A government-backed drive toward e-commerce can help open up the agricultural sector and generate a rapid in-crease in incomes for farmers. At a regular meeting of the State Council in late March, Premier Li Keqiang said it was crucial to modernize the industry, with technology playing a major role. Half of China’s 1.34 billion population live in villages, and at the end of 2010, 125 million were connected to the Internet, a report by the China Internet Network Information Center revealed. Last year, that figure had climbed to 178 million…Full Article: China Daily June 2015

Key Points

  • As of April 2015, China had more than 4,000 e-commerce sites dedicated to selling farm products and 31,000 online agricultural enterprises.
  • In 2015, the Chinese e-commerce company, JD.com Inc, plans to start marketing food products on their site.
  • In 2014, e-commerce farm produce sales totaled CNY 100 billion (~US$16.1 billion).
  • From 2010 to 2014, sales of farm produce on Alibaba sites have increased from CNY 3.7 billion (~US$545 million) to CNY 80 billion (~US$13 billion).
  • In May 2014, China’s Ministry of Agriculture launched an online database of systems of farmers (5,000 total) and an e-commerce site for their goods in Chengdu, Sichuan province.
  • Foreign private equity firms (e.g. Carlyle Group, Blackstone Group) and domestic firms such as CDH Investments, Hony Capital and Shenzhen Fortune Venture Capital Co Ltd have recently invested in agricultural enterprises.

ChinaAg Comments

  • In January 2015 (that month alone), the fresh fruit e-commerce sit, Fruitday, recorded CNY 100 million ($16.1 million) in sales.
  • In June 2014, Tasmania exported Royal Gala apples directly to an e-commerce company based in Shanghai.
  • In April 2014, a representative from Welch’s Food Inc. (American grape producer) noted that they work with Fruitday.com in the Shanghai market and were considering using them as a packer.
  • In March 2014, Fruitday.com received financing from a Shanghai-based private equity firm to expand its business operations.
  • In 2013, China’s fruit consumption reached an estimated US$64.5 billion and had an annual growth rate of 15%.
  • In 2013, according to Alibaba (a Hangzhou-based e-commerce business), sales for agricultural goods sold on its platform grew by 195%. Its best performers in this category were fruit, vegetables, and seafood.
  • In January 2013, Tmall, a business to consumer e-commerce website that is operated by Alibaba, ran special promotion that sold American foods directly from US firms to Chinese consumers.

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