CHINA VOICES: Pity sales: Marketing slow-selling apples for fame, fortune, and success

5 min read
Image credit: BigStock/Phuong D. Nguyen

This week, our source was Southern Weekly, where we came across this mind bending look into the use of ecommerce platforms to sell fruits and produce, and all the ways around it.

From Southern Weekend’s Gao Yizhen

Linyi county is one of the biggest fruit producing regions in China. In April 2018, it was dubbed a “slow-selling” zone online. On the screen, mountains of apples piled up, tree branches were savagely cut to the ground, and fruit farmers were in tears.

Pulling the “pity sales” card succeeded in emptying Linyi’s warehouses. But it cost the village a lot of future profit. The emotion-driven campaign also succeeded in depleting whatever stock of compassion was there at the start.

According to China’s Workers Daily newspaper, from 2013 to the first half of 2017, the number of unsellable agricultur

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