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Alibaba works with poor counties to fight poverty

By Wang Yu | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2018-07-11 15:14
Daniel Zhang, CEO of Alibaba, delivers a speech in Hangzhou, East China's Zhejiang province on July 10, 2018. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

E-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd announced a semi-annual report on its poverty relief fund in Hangzhou, East China's Zhejiang province, on Tuesday.

The company pledged 10 billion yuan ($1.51 billion) in December 2017 to combat poverty in China over the next five years.

According to its own research, Alibaba's total online sales volume of local products in national-level poor counties reached 26 billion yuan in the first six months of this year. Among them, 53 poverty-stricken counties' net incomes exceeded 100 million yuan.

By the first half of 2018, more than 701 kinds of products from 51 poverty-stricken countries had been sold via Alibaba's online platforms, which were set up specifically for rural entrepreneurs.

MYBank, the online lending affiliate of Ant Financial Services Group, had provided loans totaling over 38 billion yuan to more than 1 million users in poverty-stricken counties by the end of June 2018.

Alibaba Poverty Relief Fund recruited 1,000 company employees to help officials tailor anti-poverty plans for each county and explore ways to help poor farmers lift themselves out of poverty using internet technologies.
"We should know that poverty alleviation does not mean donations. We don't want to only help poor people by offering them fish, but enable them to be self-reliant so they know how to fish for themselves", said Daniel Zhang, CEO of Alibaba.

The Alibaba Poverty Relief Fund serves the company's "strategic goal" for poverty alleviation by using its technological prowess and existing ecosystems to help rural entrepreneurs sell local produce to other areas.

Its platforms enable scientific measurement of consumer demand and trends, helping prevent farmers from planting crops that will not sell and unsalable produce from going to waste.

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