rural

E-commerce and delivery services see major development in China’s Xinjiang

An intermodal express train loaded with containers of e-commerce goods departs from Xi'an international port station in Xi'an, northwest China's Shaanxi Province, March 26, 2024. The intermodal express train X387 bound for Urumqi in northwest China's Xinjiang left Xi'an on Tuesday, marking the official operation of regular freight train service for e-commerce goods between the two cities.(Photo: Xinhua)

An intermodal express train loaded with containers of e-commerce goods departs from Xi’an international port station in Xi’an, northwest China’s Shaanxi Province, March 26, 2024. The intermodal express train X387 bound for Urumqi in northwest China’s Xinjiang left Xi’an on Tuesday, marking the official operation of regular freight train service for e-commerce goods between the two cities.(Photo: Xinhua)

China is making an effort to enhance e-commerce and express delivery services across the country, with a focus on remote regions. In Northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, major Chinese online shopping platforms have initiated new measures to facilitate delivery services in the area.

Notably, Pinduoduo rolled out free express delivery services into villages across Xinjiang in March, covering more than 10 product categories and over half of Xinjiang’s villages. STO Express, in collaboration with Taotian Group, began a pilot free shipping program on March 16, making over 10 million products eligible for free shipping in the area.

Historically, Xinjiang’s relatively isolated location has led to challenges including high postage fees, lengthy delivery time, and the exclusion from free delivery services of online shopping platforms.

In March, China’s Ministry of Commerce, along with other departments, released a notice on promoting the high-quality development of rural e-commerce, calling for an enhancement of logistics and distribution systems in rural areas. This notice includes developing modern rural logistics facilities, increasing the intensity of rural logistics distribution, and fostering innovative development in rural commercial logistics.

These initiatives have pushed the expansion of express delivery and e-commerce in remote areas, including rural areas. With Xinjiang’s economic growth accelerating, there has been an increasing demand for e-commerce delivery services, highlighting the need for free shipping and faster postal services.

An official from the State Post Bureau highlighted the substantial progress made in Xinjiang’s e-commerce and delivery services. “Currently, there has been a significant improvement in Xinjiang’s e-commerce courier services,” the official noted, pointing out that since September of the 2023, the daily average volume of parcels delivered across Xinjiang has surged by nearly a million, The People’s Daily reported on Tuesday.

According to the postal bureau of Xinjiang, increasingly fewer merchants are rejecting shipping goods to the area, the percentage decreased from 10.17 percent in September last year to present 0.83 percent. Additionally, 73.39 percent of surveyed users in Xinjiang saw improvements in shipping services, with 31.96 percent finding the improvements to be significant, as reported by The People’s Daily on Tuesday.

In 2023, Xinjiang’s total retail sales of social consumer goods increased by 18.8 percent, reaching a historic high, with online retail sales growing by 23.7 percent. Data from the State Post Bureau showed that Xinjiang’s courier service volume grew 88.1 percent in 2023, with revenues seeing a year-on-year increase of 77.9 percent.