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Alibaba and Battle to Capture Rural China's Spending Power

Billions are being spent to reach a new generation with higher incomes, better education and armed with smartphones
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Rural Chinese Get an Online Shopping Habit

The new target consumer for China’s e-commerce giants sits in the tiny hamlet of Miaoxia, deep in rural Henan province.

Gao Xiaoli, who is training to be a doctor, has money to spend, a smartphone to shop with and online emporiums Inc. and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. beating a path to her doorstep more than 500 miles south of Beijing. Rural e-commerce is expected to be worth 1 trillion yuan ($148 billion) by 2020, providing a massive incentive for marketplaces such as Alibaba’s Taobao.