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Embracing technology: How Internet transforms rural economy in China

A flock of sheep graze in grassy pastures of Dongxiaka village, with their owners monitoring them 1,600 miles away. Strolling around the grand complex of Chiyou Jiuli Town, millions of tourists can savor the culture of the Miao ethnic group through video games.

Internet pumps new life into rural regions

For residents in Jiangsu Province, the eastern coast of China, raising sheep online has become a prevailing tendency. Paying a 500 hundred yuan deposit, they can enjoy the virtual pet experience by adopting a sheep from Dongxiaka village. Once their sheep reaches maturity, the owner must buy it based on the market price in Jiangsu Province. As a critical program of Jiangsu-Qinghai pairing-off cooperation for poverty reduction, "I Have A Sheep in Qinghai" aims to boost Qianghai shepherds' income by reaching more customers in Jiangsu Province.

"The supply of sheep in Qinghai is greater than the demand, so the market price and sales are much lower than other provinces, which renders many shepherds at a loss," said Wang Xuejun, a director of the Poverty Alleviation and Development Bureau in Hainan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai Province. "This program expands the market to Jiangsu Province, where people have a high demand for sheep," he added

"Seeing my sheep wander in endless pastures satisfies my dream of an idyllic lifestyle," said Lu Xi, a 25-year old in Jiangsu. "I hope one day I can visit my pet in person," she added.

Xiao Shuihong, in her 40s, joined this cloud sheep-raising program for a different reason. "From this program, I can buy high-quality mutton with a more transparent breeding process," she said. All sheep listed on the program website were sold within a few months.


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