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Britain enters Xinjiang to challenge China at the UN


Alibaba, Pinduoduo to fight China’s growing food crisis

(Bloomberg)-The struggle to provide fresh fruits and vegetables to 1.4 billion people is bringing Chinese e-commerce companies into the country’s hinterland, where they are trying to reform centuries-old agricultural practices to ensure their emerging online The future supply of grocery stores The Xi Jinping government has long regarded food self-sufficiency as the “number one problem” because it tries to avoid an imminent food crisis. During the pandemic, the urgency of modernizing China’s 200 million small farms became particularly urgent, when production and logistics were disrupted, and a large number of shoppers were buying products from Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd. and other Internet retailers. Large private companies have also participated in national efforts to help growers increase production, improve food quality and lower prices. For the e-commerce giant, this is a way to consolidate its foothold in the online grocery market, which is expected to be worth more than 1

20 billion U.S. dollars by 2023, without compromising Beijing’s recent predatory pricing and Compulsory exclusive arrangements and other monopolistic actions are in conflict. In Fujian on the east coast, Alibaba provides chicken farmers with smart bracelets that can track poultry health. Under the guidance of JD.com, rice growers in the arid north of China have installed smart sensors to obtain real-time information on poultry health. opinion. irrigation. In the west, Yunnan scientists are working with Pinduoduo to use artificial intelligence to automate strawberry cultivation. “Agriculture is a key area supported by the Chinese government,” said Liu Yue, an analyst at market research company EqualOcean. She said that as rural youth flock to cities for better jobs and food safety is increasingly threatened by pesticides and outdated farming methods, the country’s technology champions are eager to reach out to Beijing, and e-commerce platforms are the driving force behind the development of smart agriculture. . Data from iResearch shows that by 2023, the prosperity of the online grocery market will double to approximately RMB 820 billion (approximately US$127 billion). In the first half of last year, this category surpassed consumer electronics products and became the largest contributor to JD.com, while Alibaba made a greater push in this area by acquiring more shares in the supermarket Sun Art Retail Group Co. From Xingsheng Youxuan and MissFresh (both supported by Tencent Holdings Co., Ltd.) to Dingdong Maicai, they are all raising billions of dollars to grab a larger share of the online fresh food distribution market. This prompted the official media to warn the industry not to be overcrowded in December, but to say that Internet giants with large amounts of data and advanced algorithms should do more in technological innovation. “Covid-19 helped accelerate the conversion of such purchases to online channels.” Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Vey-Sern Ling. “This is a huge untapped market, and companies must participate in it or be left behind.” As Chinese leaders began to restrict monopoly in areas ranging from financial technology to e-commerce, smart agriculture was an area where technology giants commercialized. The interests are aligned with the national agenda. In the guidelines issued on Sunday, the State Council called for increased private investment to develop modern agricultural technology and use advanced technology to empower villages. Like artificial intelligence, quantum computing and computer chips, breeding and cultivation sciences are also listed as one of Beijing’s most important technological priorities in the next five years. JD.com stated that at least 50% of its smart farm projects come from government subsidies. Despite efforts, the growing demand for fresh fruits and vegetables has caused most of the traditionally labor-intensive farms in China to disappear. About 200 million operators. 98% of households or small businesses-striving to keep up. The country’s restrictions on land ownership and the various terrains spanning the Inner Mongolian prairie to the tropical coast of Hainan Island in the south make it difficult to implement the industrial-scale agriculture common in the United States and Europe. Data from the National Bureau of Statistics also show that about one-third of farm workers are 55 years of age or older, and the birth rate is at a record low, which leads to rising labor costs. Lei Jinrong is a farmer who has benefited from working with online retailers. The owner of the Fuxin Farm in Fujian Province equipped his 1,000 chickens with Apple Watch bracelets provided by Alibaba. He said these devices digitally track the number of steps birds take each day, and anything below 20,000 is an early sign of disease, adding that he no longer needs to patrol his fields to find sick birds. This means that Mr. Lei can expand production without hiring more workers-which is good news because the average wage in his village has almost quadrupled in the past ten years. In the eastern province of Shandong, Tao Nong used JD’s blockchain technology to increase income by 50%. Encrypt every step of the planting process, increase trust and transparency, and attract consumers who are tired of food scandals ranging from contaminated milk powder to imitation eggs. “Improving efficiency and economies of scale will reduce costs, and higher quality products will produce better prices,” said Charlie Chen, head of consumer research at China Renaissance in Hong Kong. He said this will benefit both farmers and e-commerce operators. In November, it raised US$6.1 billion to fund its agricultural innovations and is relying on these efforts to help it quadruple agricultural sales to 10,000 by 2025. 100 million yuan. David Liu, the company’s vice president of strategy, said the company hopes that these initiatives will help it achieve diversification beyond online retail, as it aims to license cutting-edge agricultural technologies, many of which are still in their infancy and are in the process of expand. This will take a while, because farmers are just beginning to collect data-the basis for running AI and other next-generation technologies-and test new cultivation methods. However, the surge in demand for online products and the dual driving force of Beijing to promote self-sufficiency in food supply means that the technological giants’ attempts to modernize China’s agriculture have just begun. Chicken farms “We must all innovate.” (Update on online grocery competition in paragraph 7) For more such articles, please visit Bloomberg.com and contact us for the most trusted source of business news. ©2021 Bloomberg LP

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