Rural live streams – Chinese farmers are driving a new trend
Rural live streams – Chinese farmers are driving a new trend
Development of streaming platforms in villages is beneficial for all participants
A new trend is gaining popularity in China – live streams from the countryside. Local farmers use streaming platforms to advertise and increase sales of their produce. Ekd.me tells about farmers who keep up with the times with a link to What’s on Weibo.
The line between the belonging of an Internet resource to social networks or to trading platforms is becoming more and more blurred. The merger of social networks and e-commerce sites has led to the emergence of “social shopping”, and it is gaining more and more popularity in the PRC. A striking example of such a service is the developing Little Red Book recommendation resource. But TikTok is gradually building online shopping functionality into its apps.
E-commerce giant Alibaba has invested heavily in promoting social shopping in recent years. Developed under the wing of China’s largest marketplace, Taobao, the Taobao Live mobile app is aimed at both mobile shoppers and socially active users. According to statistics, the Chinese spend 6 hours a day online. Approximately 72% of users make purchases on the Internet at this time, and 65% are busy watching live broadcasts. The creation of applications that combine shopping and live streams has become a logical step in the development of many IT companies.
Today, every minute, thousands of online shopping lovers connect to various streams, the hosts of which are promoting a particular product. Stream leaders try to attract as many viewers as possible – potential buyers by releasing various training videos on the use of the product, giving useful advice, communicating and entertaining the audience, as well as promising various discounts and special offers.
Thousands of people simultaneously watch live broadcasts of some streamers. Many of them are subscribed to the channel and actively communicate with the streamer during the broadcast. Someone writes words of gratitude or support, someone asks questions about products, and someone gives practical advice on broadcasting. In the Taobao Live app, the product can be bought live immediately without switching to other programs.
Over the past year, Alibaba has started to pay more attention to “rural streamers” advertising their products. On Taobao Live, these sellers even got a separate section. The company actively encourages farmers to use the application. Farmers with the largest number of subscribers can sign a contract with a company to develop their “rural business” through this application.
One such “influential farmer” is Huang Wensheng, a tea planter from Lichuan County, Hubei Province. Juan, nicknamed “Uncle Farmer,” sells his tea through an Internet channel. To do this, he broadcasts live while working, tells stories and sings songs of his village. He also loves to share worldly wisdom: “It is important to work hard. Not necessarily so hard to change the world with your work, but so hard that the world does not change you. “
With 3-5 broadcasts per week, Juan’s channel is gaining 20 million views per month. According to Chinese media reports, the popularity of the channel has greatly boosted the farmer’s income, and he now earns about 10,000 yuan ($ 1,400) a week.
Huang is not the only farmer in the county trying to boost his income with Taobao Live. Lichuan County has several hundred of these streamers.
“Rural” shopping live streams are noticeably different from their “urban” counterparts. Those are mainly engaged in advertising branded goods: clothing, cosmetics and others. Farmers cannot boast of exquisite serving, glamorous attire or stylish interiors in the background. They usually broadcast their broadcasts “in the field,” where they do their daily work, and sometimes introduce the viewer to their humble domestic life.
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Viewers of these channels can learn in detail about the production process of products advertised by rural traders. Farmers take pictures of how they collect eggs in chicken coops or tangerines from trees. On Taobao Live today, you can find farm products for every taste: from potatoes to flowers, from fresh tea to homemade chili.
Some rural streamers try to be smart and come up with new ways to engage their audience. For example, a young farmer from Sichuan province has recently provided an opportunity for his subscribers to take care of one rooster from his farm. The “adoptive parent” has the opportunity to communicate with the pet through social networks, and some even throw parties in honor of the rooster’s birthday.
While rural broadcasters may lack polish, their broadcasts can be more engaging than their urban counterparts.
The development of streaming platforms in villages is beneficial for all participants. For Alibaba and Taobao Live, this is a new area for market expansion. With the growth of the marketplace and the increase in consumer demand for rural goods, the company increases its profit.
Thanks to village live streaming in China, the concept of “Taobao village” has emerged. In such villages, part of the population is exclusively engaged in selling their goods through Alibaba marketplaces at low operating costs compared to alternatives.
Chinese settlements and farmers also benefit from the spread of e-commerce. Her arrival pushes the development of local logistics and infrastructure, which contributes to increased sales of farmers from previously hard-to-reach regions.
Chinese media are predicting further growth in rural live streaming that will lead to the emergence of many influential streamers like Uncle Huang. In addition to the commercial and financial benefits, the social impact of such broadcasts is equally important. China’s rapid development in recent decades has created a major gap between urban and rural life. Many townspeople have little idea of what life looks like outside of megacities.
Rural livestreams allow you to get to know the world of ordinary Chinese farmers without embellishment. The viewer has the opportunity to learn how the products are born, which they see already packaged on store shelves. Today, apps like Taobao Live are perceived as classic village markets, but open 24/7 to anyone with a mobile phone and internet. This is becoming the trade in farm products in the 21st century.
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