JINAN, Sept. 1 (Xinhua) -- Total sales of China's "Taobao Villages" exceeded 700 billion yuan (about 98 billion U.S. dollars) in the last financial year (from July 2018 to June 2019), Alibaba said at the 7th China Taobao Villages Summit Forum Friday.
The number of "Taobao Villages," each having online shopping transactions exceeding 10 million yuan, has surpassed 4,000, of which, some 800 Taobao Villages are located in poverty-stricken counties of the country.
The villages are located at 398 counties with an accumulated population of 250 million. More than 2.4 million stores in these counties are now active on Taobao, creating over 6.8 million job opportunities.
Taobao Villages have played an increasingly important role in boosting rural economy, especially in advancing rural vitalization and helping farmers increase their income, find jobs and get rid of poverty, said the e-commerce giant.
The concept of "Taobao Villages" appeared for the first time in 2009. To be nominated as a Taobao Village, Alibaba requires total annual e-commerce transactions of over 10 million yuan. Furthermore, a Taobao Village should have more than 100 businesses or at least 10 percent of households involved in e-commerce.
If a township has more than three Taobao Villages, or the annual sales exceeds 30 million yuan, or has over 300 active online stores, the township is recognized as a "Taobao Township."
Gao Hongbing, vice president of Alibaba, predicted the number of Taobao Villages is expected to top 20,000 in the following decade, with 20 million jobs added.