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E-Commerce Changing The Lives of Farmers: Taobao Villages of China
E-Commerce Changing The Lives of Farmers: Taobao Villages of China

E-Commerce Changing The Lives of Farmers: Taobao Villages of China


320 Pages, 5.75 x 8.25

Formats: Trade Paper

Trade Paper, $15.95 (US $15.95) (CA $21.95)

Publication Date: October 2019

ISBN 9781487800574

Rights: US & CA

Royal Collins Publishing Company (Oct 2019)

Price: $15.95


Taobao is China’s largest consumer-to-consumer marketplace. At the time of Alibaba Group’s IPO, listed it as one of the ten most-visited websites in the world. Everyday more than 100 million people visit Taobao to buy and sell just about every product or service imaginable, accounting for an estimated 80 percent of the online retail sales in China.Taobao has become a part of everyday life for the Chinese people, who use it for everything from being up-to-date in fashion trends to buying movie tickets to groceries. Moreover, as Chinese consumers have been increasingly going in for smartphones, Taobao’s mobile app has seen a huge increase in volume of sale and purchase.Taobao’s website reflects the local culture and shopping habits of Chinese consumers. But, who is the vendor at Taobao? Is there any possibility of some villagers using Taobao to make money? We selected 14 Chinese villages which have been remarkably successful, using the Taobao platform. Not all these villages were developed before they started using the Taobao service. However, the internet and e-commerce have changed the lives of the farmers of these villages, just as Mr. Jack Ma had predicted in1995. We hope that such a change will encourage more and more farmers to further use the internet to develop their enterprises.


"The speed with which our Taobao website took off surprised the US media completely—they had thought eBay was invincible! They weren't willing to believe a pure Chinese website could compete with major players such as eBay, Yahoo!, and others. But Taobao's user data forced US analysts to look at us with new eyes. Only then did they realize that C2C competition within China was far fiercer than anything they had imagined." —Reuters

"China's Taobao is one of the world's largest e-commerce websites, a combination of eBay and Amazon, only bigger. Its 500 million registered users trade almost 50,000 items of merchandise every minute on average." — BBC

"In the next 20 to 30 years, the internet will change the landscape of global trading. We're really hoping to bring e-commerce to all of China's [many] villages, so that rural people can get a taste of the city life and sell their own products in the cities. Let the rural people return to the earth, let the intellectuals return to the farms, and send the products of their agriculture all over the nation." —Jack Ma

"In the typical narrative of what have become known as 'Taobao villages,' a group of locals starts selling handicrafts online and taps into a lucrative consumer market, bringing money and success to the village. Some villages near to factories also sell mass-produced manufactured goods." —The Economist 

"Taobao has even transformed village economies." —National Public Radio

Author Biography

Dr. Lili Cui is a Research Fellow at the Shanghai University of Finance & Economics, focusing on how the digital world has enabled social innovation. She is well-known for her research on Taobao Villages in China.