Liupanshui, a city in mountainous Guizhou province in Southwest China, used to rely on coal power, raw materials and traditional industries for development. It has successfully revitalized its economy through e-commerce retailing and a bit of innovative thinking.
In the first quarter, Liupanshui achieved sales revenue of 2.16 million yuan ($300,000) by promoting goods through livestreaming sales. During the period, total online sales by the city reached 76.5 million yuan, up 18.43 percent year-on-year, the local government said.
The city has a large concentration of impoverished families. All of the needy counties have built up their e-commerce service centers. Local retailers have opened more than 1,500 stores on major e-commerce platforms such as JD and Tmall.
Behind the city's transformation is a multibillion-dollar livestreaming market in China, which is forecast to grow fast as the coronavirus epidemic further pushed consumers into online shopping.
"Liupanshui has seized the business opportunities of new retail and developed various e-commerce forms such as selling products through livestreaming sessions by online celebrities and short video posts," said Liupanshui city Mayor Li Gang, an NPC deputy from Guizhou.
By leveraging the local advantages of a subtropical climate, clean air and fertile soil, the city hopes to become a top commercial center for kiwi fruit.
There are 14 wild-growing varieties of kiwi fruit locally. The kiwi fruits there have red pulps, a sweeter taste and usually mature 30 days ahead of other varieties from other areas, whose prices are three times more expensive.
The Liupanshui Agricultural Investment and Development Co Ltd is a key player located in a well-established fruit-growing area. It sold more than 3,000 metric tons of kiwi fruit last year. It has grown by 50 percent year-on-year and its sales revenue reached 80 million yuan last year.
Besides selling products to Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing, as well as Yunnan, Hubei and Taiwan provinces, it also exported kiwi fruit to Russia, Canada, Thailand and the Middle East.