Wantou, a village 350 km from Beijing, has become known as one of China’s “Taobao Villages”, home to over 500 online stores on Taobao, China’s largest online shopping site under the e-commerce giant Alibaba. At first, most of An’s fellow villagers, who seldom set foot in large cities, didn’t believe virtual shops could bring in customers, Now, nearly all households in Wantou have linked their family workshops to online stores. Their products such as pure, natural crafts including handwoven household supplies, tatami and tea tables made from straw are sold to customers as far away as northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, about 2,000 km from Wantou. Wantou Village is just one of 14 “Taobao Villages” in China. By the end of 2012, more than 1.63 million Taobao stores were registered in rural areas, with total transactions from the 14 “Taobao Villages” hitting RMB 5 billion last year. The growth of “Taobao Villages” has brought vitality to traditional agricultural areas of China, although concerns for counterfeits continue to rise.
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“Taobao villages” developing in rural areas
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