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ICBC Forges New Mode of Poverty Relief and Rural Assistance with E-commerce Platform

Over the past years, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) has made every effort to explore new modes and new roadmaps of e-commerce targeted poverty relief, with an aim to perform corporate social responsibilities on its shoulders with actual effect and organically fuse social benefits and economic benefits. By the end of February 2019, ICBC Mall e-commerce platform has opened a total of 23 poverty relief halls, brought 599 merchants from impoverished counties at the national level, and covered 281 impoverished counties at the national level in 21 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities. The merchants have launched more than 7,600 personalized agricultural products, rural tourism and other products and realized a cumulative sales revenue of RMB27 billion. Meanwhile, ICBC has exempted both the trading fee and margin for the merchants from impoverished counties at the national level, provided the “green channel” mechanism for the merchants from these counties to go online within two weeks, and vigorously supported the sales of featured products in the impoverished regions.

To ensure the impoverished regions truly get rid of poverty, ICBC has established a long-acting poverty relief mechanism through cooperation between e-commerce and government and focused on shaping a sustainable development ecosystem, says related ICBC official. For example, ICBC has banded up with the Green Food Development Center, China of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, carried forward “Green Certification” and “Organic Certification” and guided specialty brands in the impoverished regions on the ICBC Mall platform to pass the green food certification, and expanded income sources of vast farmers, particularly impoverished rural households. ICBC has signed the Strategic Partnership Agreement on E-commerce Poverty Relief through ICBC Mall with the People’s Government of Sichuan Province, and energetically carried forward e-commerce poverty relief in the region. A total of 104 merchants from the impoverished areas of the province have gone online at the platform and realized a sales revenue of up to RMB100 million, including RMB24 million realized by Wanyuan, Tongjiang, Nanjiang and Jinyang, four impoverished counties that are the designated aid targets of the Bank. ICBC has worked together with local governments of Shaanxi, Hainan, Dali, Yan’an, Guilin and other regions to build online tourism complexes integrating “dining, accommodation, transportation, tourism, entertainment and shopping”, and yielded good social benefits and economic benefits while providing tourist sources for the tourism sectors in these regions. 

To resolve the agricultural product sales problem, ICBC has launched local halls with distinctive features on the ICBC Mall Homepage and provided fee and margin discounts, remote e-commerce operation training and other associated support for merchants from the impoverished regions to help marketing high-quality agricultural products online and resolving the concerns of rural households. At the same time, ICBC has introduced “One Policy for One Province, Multiple Counties for One Hall” to exhibit and promote agricultural products from impoverished counties and operated online-offline poverty relief campaigns in different regions. The Bank has also designed the poverty relief campaign mode “launching flagship product every quarter with features for every province”, and promoted the normalized and institutionalized campaigns in different regions.

ICBC has also established the new mode of “poverty relief + philanthropy” based on the exploration of e-commerce poverty relief. Specifically, ICBC has initiated the “Normal Hearing & Clear Eyesight Scheme” together with China Children and Teenagers’ Foundation and Beijing Children’s Hospital, providing philanthropic ophthalmological diagnosis for children aged 6-12 in the impoverished areas of Tibet, Qinghai, Yunnan, Guizhou, Sichuan, Ningxia and other provinces. Moreover, ICBC has synchronously raised a charity donation of RMB250,000 through an online donation campaign and used the fund to help six Tibetan children receive a surgical therapy in Beijing. Last year, ICBC Mall successfully joined the directory of the second batch of Internet donation information platforms of charity organizations,  becoming the first bank-owned platform with online public offering qualification nationwide.