Alibaba's Tuesday report shows that China's rural areas are growing faster than some first-tier cities in digital consumption.
Statistics indicate that the growth rate of digital spending on Alibaba's e-commerce platforms in rural areas reached 23.8 percent last year, 4.5 percent higher than that in first-tier cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen.
The huge consumption potential in rural areas would be turned into a major engine of growth as a result of the digital economy, more internet access and faster logistics, said the report.
Moreover, the internet will narrow the gap between the country's developed eastern regions and the less-developed remote areas.
The report suggests that digital consumption further drives the sales of agricultural products in rural areas as more farmers turn to live-streaming and other popular internet marketing tools to attract customers.
In 2018, state-level impoverished counties sold goods worth over 63 billion yuan (about 9.4 billion U.S. dollars) on Alibaba's online shopping platforms, with the most popular hits being agricultural products.