Migrants cash in on Net profit | Shanghai Daily

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September 3, 2009

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Migrants cash in on Net profit

ZHONG Zhihua has seen his identity changed three times in a year, from a migrant worker, to a farmer, and now to a farmer-cum-online shop owner.
The 27-year-old quit his factory job in the coastal province of Guangdong late last year, when the global financial crisis started to take its toll on the Chinese economy.
In his spare time, at an electronic factory in Bao'an District of Shenzhen where he earned 2,000 yuan a month (US$293), Zhong surfed the Internet, and occasionally ventured into online shopping.
After a thorough survey in his hometown of Gushi Township in Xiushui County, Jiangxi Province, Zhong saw a market opportunity with one of the local specialties - tea - and began to plan opening an online tea shop.
"Many of my friends regarded me as a joke," he said. "It was indeed very hard since I knew little about online business."
His shop opened in February on Taobao, China's largest retail Website. Fellow farmers could sell their tea through him at a premium of 20 percent.
Zhong said he was relieved to see the business growing steadily. "Sometimes I sell more than 15 kilograms of tea in a day and for each kilogram I earn 40 yuan."
Zhong is not the only migrant worker who successfully took advantage of his urban experiences to start his own business after returning home.
Zhang Xiaoping of Nanping Village of Gao'an City, Jiangxi Province, opened a pepper shop on Taobao after losing his job late last year in a factory in Zhejiang.
"In early July when our fresh pepper had been on the market for only half a month, my fellow villagers sold more than 20,000 kilograms of pepper through my shop," said Zhang.
Director Yin Xiaojian of the Rural Economic Research Institute of the Jingxi Provincial Academy of Social Sciences said the two farmers did not succeed by accident.
"Urban working experience has broadened their horizons," he said. "And the developing rural communication infrastructure is another reason for their success."
Figures from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology showed as of October, 2007, 92 percent of villages and towns had access to broadband connections.
There were about 96 million Netizens in China's rural areas by the end of June, 2009, compared to 11 million at the end of 2008.



 

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