Livestreaming sales provides new strategy for poverty alleviation: NPC deputy

By Wang Bozun Source:Global Times Published: 2020/5/24 1:38:40

A screen shot of Wu Yunbo's livestream Photo: GT

Livestreaming sales provides a new way to think about poverty alleviation, and the Chinese government should give national endorsement to livestreaming platforms such as Kuaishou which has become a new "golden key" for people in rural areas to increase their income, a deputy to the National People's Congress (NPC) told the Global Times on Saturday.

Wu Yunbo, the party branch secretary of a village in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region who is attending this year's session of NPC in Beijing, said endorsing and supporting livestreaming sales is one of the proposals he brought to the session of NPC as this new business model has helped him to deal with challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the aim of lifting his village out of poverty, Wu established a cattle farm in 2014 and now the farm has more than 500 oxen which were expected to bring 25 million yuan ($3.51 million) in revenue to the village.

However, the unexpected epidemic interrupted his plans, as operations at 13 stores selling the farm's beef were suspended due to disease prevention measures, dropping the revenue to zero.

It has been a very challenging time for Wu because as a leader of the village, he had to prevent villagers from being infected with the coronavirus, while also maintaining their incomes.

"I had to find new beef sales channels for our villagers, as the revenue of the 13 stores dropped to nothing," Wu said, adding that he started livestreaming on Kuaishou, a short video sharing platform in China, in March to sell their products.

In the beginning, sales were not good because he did not have many followers online. But with Kuaishou's poverty alleviation measures, such as increasing his exposure rate, he has become an online influencer as his followers have climbed to more than 700,000.

After two months of development, he has created a team to support him with livestreaming and now he regularly starts livestreaming on the platform every day after work. Revenue has the potential to reach tens of thousands of yuan every day.

"I think livestreaming is a new 'gold key' for farmers and people in poverty-stricken areas to gain incomes, as it does not require complex registration procedures, so they can easily and directly communicate with customers."

This year's pandemic has hit the global economy hard as many factories and offices had to suspend operations, causing huge economic loses. Many factories and farmers have turned to online sales to relieve their financial pressure since the pandemic.

China has set 2020 as the deadline for the goal of lifting everyone out of poverty and in the Government Work Report released on Friday, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang reaffirmed that China is committed to winning the final battle against poverty this year.

Wu, who had successfully lifted everyone in his village out of poverty in 2019, said that the government's goal is definitely achievable as most tasks under the plan, which was set in 2012, have been done although challenges still remain, as some people now face risks of returning to property again due to illness or other reasons.

"I think livestreaming provides a new way of thinking about China's poverty alleviation goal, with the government's support, we will win the battle."

Posted in: ECONOMY

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