?span style='font:7.0pt "Times New Roman"'>         Growers adopt new technologies, aided by e-commerce giants

?span style='font:7.0pt "Times New Roman"'>         Alibaba, rivals seek a greater share of online grocery market


By Coco Liu, Bloomberg

February 22, 2021


The battle to supply 1.4 billion people with fresh fruit and vegetables is taking China抯 e-commerce companies into the country抯 hinterlands, where they are attempting to revolutionize centuries-old agricultural practices to secure future supply for their burgeoning online grocery businesses.


Xi Jinping抯 government has long made self-sufficiency in food a 搕op state issue?as it seeks to avert a looming food crisis. The need to modernize China抯 200 million largely small-scale farms took on added urgency during the pandemic, when output and logistics disruptions coincided with homebound shoppers turning to Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and other internet retailers for their produce.


Now, some of the country抯 largest private companies have joined in with state efforts to help growers boost production, improve food quality and lower prices. For the e-commerce giants, it抯 one way of strengthening their foothold in an online grocery market that抯 expected to be worth more than $120 billion by 2023, without running afoul of Beijing抯 recent crackdown on monopolistic practices like predatory pricing and forced exclusivity arrangements.


In Fujian along the eastern coast, Alibaba has provided chicken farmers with smart bracelets that track the health of their poultry...


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