China is one of the world’s oldest agricultural societies. At the same time it has one of the fastest growing e-commerce sectors in the world, with highly adapted mobile payment systems and the most rapid 4G network expansion of any country.

It’s no surprise that Chinese agriculture and e-commerce are coming together in a big way. China’s Ministry of Agriculture estimates that online transactions for farm products were valued at over 100 billion RMB ($16.1 billion) last year. There’s still plenty of room for growth however. E-commerce accounts for only 3% of the total agriculture trades in the country, which is perhaps why is becoming a hotly contested battle field for internet companies.

The Internet Plus strategic policy recently introduced by China’s government aims to integrate traditional sectors with online tools. Agriculture was singled out in the plan. Between government support, growing urban demand for agricultural products and an increasing tech-savvy rural residents representing 46% of the total population, every sign indicates it is a good timing for e-commerce services to go deeper in to rural market.

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Emma Lee

Emma Lee is Shanghai-based tech writer, covering startups and tech happenings in China and Asia in general. We are looking for stories related to tech and China. Reach her at lixin@technode.com.