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ICBC and CNR Join Hands for Launching Strategic Cooperation on Targeted Poverty Alleviation

On May 7, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) entered into a memorandum with China National Radio (CNR) in Beijing on strategic cooperation of targeted poverty alleviation, in order to jointly boost cooperation in this area and industrial development in poor regions. As the first project under the cooperation, an e-commerce poverty alleviation cooperation agreement was signed by ICBC, CNR and the People’s Government of Lu’an City, Anhui Province. Mr. Li Yunze, Vice President of ICBC, Ms. Jiang Haiqing, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of CNR, and Mr. Ye Luzhong, Deputy Secretary of Lu’an Municipal Party Committee and Mayor of Lu’an City, attended the event.

Mr. Li Yunze, Vice President of ICBC, said that ICBC had been seriously and fully implementing the decisions and arrangements on poverty alleviation of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council. Following the principle of targeted poverty alleviation and based on the resource advantages and industry features in poor areas, the Bank gave full play to its advantages in integrated financial services, and explored a new approach of poverty alleviation through the development of local finance, education, industries and health. In the future, ICBC would also focus on national-level poverty-stricken counties and, proceeding from the two major programs of “industry empowerment” and “brand enhancement”, proactively explore the industry poverty alleviation mode under the support of “major state-owned bank + central media organization + local government”. The Bank would help provide a barrier-free channel for agricultural products in poor areas to enter urban markets, effectively support poverty-stricken households to improve their ability of self-development and self-poverty-alleviation, continuously enhance the ability of self-support in poor areas and poverty alleviation in a larger area.

Ms. Jiang Haiqing, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of CNR, said that ICBC has made great efforts in initiating poverty alleviation through the development of local industries, finance and e-commerce. This strategic cooperation involving central media organization, local government and bank is a new poverty alleviation mode, which integrates the three parties’ advantages and resources. Leveraging its resources of nationwide reporter stations and local TV stations in the CNR network, CNR would continue its surveys on poverty-stricken areas and counties, closely cooperate with ICBC and local governments, so as to help provide dedicated sale channels for high-quality agricultural products from places of origin and make sure consumers obtain these specialty products.

It is reported that the balance of ICBC’s loans for targeted poverty alleviation reached RMB136.3 billion by the end of the first quarter of 2018. The ICBC Head Office has carried out targeted poverty alleviation for over 20 years, donating RMB160 million to four targeted counties and cities in Sichuan Province, namely, Tongjiang County, Nanjiang County, Wanyuan City and Jinyang County, and dispatching over 140 officials to these areas. Specifically, more than RMB8 billion of loans were granted to targeted areas for the support of a number of infrastructure and people’s livelihood projects. ICBC kept organizing activities such as rewarding outstanding village teachers, funding excellent impoverished college students and providing training for outstanding village teachers, and donated to construct 17 Hope Primary Schools, dormitories and teaching buildings for 12 middle and primary schools, and 67 “Love Kitchens”. The Bank has focused on helping impoverished households improve their ability of self-development and self-poverty-alleviation. In 2017 alone, its poverty alleviation projects through development of local industries benefited over 2,200 impoverished households, receiving wide praise among the poor. The Bank also launched programs such as “Marching Towards Brightness” and “Mother and Child Safety 120”. In 2018, ICBC will donate to the public welfare program of “Health Express Train”, in which ophthalmologists of the mobile train hospital would provide free cataract treatment for impoverished patients in the train at designated stops. This program is expected to benefit more than 2,000 impoverished people.

In respect of poverty alleviation through local e-commerce development, the e-commerce platform ICBC Mall, as an important part of the e-ICBC strategy, upholds the strategy positioning of “famous merchants, famous brands, and famous stores” and strictly controls the access of merchants to ensure the quality of goods. With more than 100 million customers, it has become a new way and new carrier for ICBC’s poverty alleviation efforts. ICBC Mall, adhering to the new mode of targeted poverty alleviation featuring “e-commerce + enterprises + households”, has been promoting sales of specialty products and development of characteristic resources in poor areas by means of establishing special product display pages, providing fee exemptions for merchants in impoverished counties, strengthening training on farmers’ e-commerce skills, and implementing poverty alleviation and public welfare program. As at the end of March 2018, more than 500 online merchants from the impoverished areas were listed in ICBC Mall, covering 281 national poverty-stricken counties in 20 provinces, autonomous regions and cities, and offering 3,238 online agricultural specialty products and rural tourism products, with total sales reaching RMB22 billion. In April 2018, ICBC Mall was selected into the second batch of internet donation information platforms of charity organizations by the Ministry of Civil Affairs for public solicitation, and will soon become the nation’s first banking platform with qualifications for online public donation.