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A song for the road

By Chen Nan | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2020-03-10 07:32

Donated vegetables are transported by the Jiaxianglaike company to Enshi in Hubei province and then distributed to residents in need. CHINA DAILY

Li Zheya first arrived in Beijing from a small village in neighboring Hebei province in the spring of 2004 and started working as a waiter in a hotpot restaurant near Beijing Capital Airport. Then age 18, he worked from 8:30 am to 9 pm at a monthly salary of 450 yuan ($65).

During his two-hour lunch break, he watched flights taking off and landing at a distance while he listened to the catchy songs of the Chinese pop band, Shui Mu Nian Hua.

Li's parents were both farmers. As the youngest child in a poor family with four children, he dreamed of pursuing his happiness in the big city that was in contrast to the village where he was raised-narrow roads, farmland and similar-looking houses.

Sixteen years later, Li, now 34, is a father of two children and has fulfilled his dream as the CEO of an e-commerce company named Jiaxianglaike that literally translates as "guests from hometown", which he co-founded in 2015.

As China steps up poverty alleviation, this online platform has helped farmers promote and sell agricultural products. Li's rags-to-riches journey has also got him media attention.

While the country is fighting the COVID-19 outbreak, Li's company has helped to donate and transport vegetables to Central China's Hubei province, the hardest-hit area.

From Jan 31 to Feb 25, nearly 100 metric tons of donated vegetables and medical supplies were delivered to eight cities in the province.

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