China Development in Sep 2020: Internet, Health Insurance, CIIF, Taobao Villages, Electricity

  1. Internet

“The internet industry has shown its great development vitality during the outbreak, and is becoming a key force for our country to face new challenges and build a new economy,” Wu Tienan, the center’s deputy director of the center, told a news conference in Beijing on Tuesday at which it released a report on internet developments.

The report said there were 940 million internet users in China by the end of June, with about 381 million using it for educational purposes, 276 million for medical care and 199 million using it to work remotely. The number of hosts and viewers of e-commerce livestreams reached 309 million, up 44.3 million compared with three months earlier, it said, adding that it was the fastest-growing internet application.

Many online service industries, such as food orders and ride-hailing, also witnessed growth in the first six months of the year due to the pandemic. About 409 million people had used the internet to order food by the end of June, up 11.24 million from the end of March, the report said.

It said more than 99 percent of Chinese netizens surf the internet on their mobile phones, adding that instant messaging is the most-used type of application, followed by online video and online audio.

2. Health Insurance

More than 20 percent of enterprises surveyed are willing to increase investment into medical security of their employees in the next one to two years despite effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on business, a report showed.

The demand of healthcare is growing among the Chinese people due to the aging population, decreasing fertility rate and shrinking workforce in the country. 

A total of 97 percent large and medium-sized companies surveyed have purchased supplementary insurance, besides that required by the government, for their employees, with an average premium of up to 2,123 yuan per person per year, it said.

About 75 percent enterprises bought accident insurance for workers, 58 percent bought critical illness insurance, 57 percent purchased medical insurance, and 31 percent invested in life insurance, it said.

About 70 percent of companies extended such services to workers’ family members, with 59 percent targeting their children, according to the report.

However, only 27 percent employees surveyed said security offered by the government and their employers can meet their demands, with a mismatching between what they need most and what they receive, the report showed.

With the rising awareness of security in the society, 90 percent of employees are willing to buy extra insurance themselves. About 56 percent enterprises have provided “group buying” programs for workers to choose what insurance they want, it said.

3. CIIF

The annual China International Industry Fair opens in Shanghai on 15th Sep, becoming the first national-level industrial fair since the outbreak of COVID-19 as prevention and containing of the epidemic continues.

As China’s first national-level industrial exhibition this year, CIIF has become a benchmark event of global industrial exhibition, demonstrating China’s commitment in opening-up and its efforts in promoting the recovery of the global economy.

Since 1999, the CIIF has become an important platform for showcasing the latest in technologies, products and services.

4. Taobao Villages

Until recently, Suning was a fairly remote county in Hebei and most of its people were farmers. It still has a successful agricultural sector-growing vegetables, corn, pears, and seedlings. But many of its people are taking advantage of the recently created capability to sell directly to customers on Alibaba‘s Taobao online sales platform and other similar platforms to build new businesses.

Business people in Suning estimated that average incomes in the county have at least doubled in the eight years since e-commerce has become common there. The county government attaches such importance to Taobao villages that it plans to hold the 2020 Eighth Taobao Village Forum from Friday to Sunday.

In many “Taobao villages” in the county, up to 90 percent of the people work in online sales-either as business owners or as employees of those businesses. Many people are livestreamers, directly pitching their products to customers throughout China and, in some cases, foreign countries.

According to Alibaba, the number of Taobao villages in China exceeded 4,000 in 2019. A Taobao village is defined as having annual online transactions of at least 10 million yuan ($1.48 million), and with at least 10 percent of households involved in e-commerce or where there are at least 100 active e-shops.

AliResearch, Alibaba’s research arm, estimated that Taobao villages created 6.8 million jobs in the 12 months ending June 2019 throughout the e-commerce value chain. In 2019, the 63 Taobao villages located in the country’s most impoverished areas generated about 2 billion yuan in e-commerce sales. Total sales of Taobao villages exceeded 700 billion yuan in the financial year from July 2018 to June 2019, according to Alibaba.

The rural e-commerce village phenomenon is made in and invented in China. China’s Taobao village model has been opening a new pathway for rural development in other developing countries, inspiring netprenuers in Africa and Southeast Asia to seek innovative development solutions by leveraging rural e-commerce.

5. Electricity

An ultra-high-voltage (UHV) power transmission line has sent over 50 billion kWh of electricity from Northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region to East China since it commenced operations one year ago, helping cut coal-related emissions.

Xinjiang is rich in clean energy including wind and solar power. Since 2010, the western region has transmitted over 300 billion kWh of electricity to other parts of China through four channels, playing an important role in cutting emissions in many parts of the country.


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