A female worker is working on a colorful fan to be sold via retail website Taobao.com [Photo: China Plus]
Chinese e-commerce is seen as little short of a miracle, with billions of transactions made every day across the country.
Recently there's been a big push to spread its benefits beyond urban areas into some of China's more remote villages, as a key plank in the strategy of lifting China's rural poor out of poverty.
As CRI's Huang Shan reports, one village in Henan province has been transformed by accessing new markets online, thanks to the government's 'Internet Plus' strategy.
Shehuo is a traditional folk entertainment activity performed during Chinese festivals. By worshipping the earth, it's hoped good harvests and fortune will follow.
And in Huozhuang Village of central China's Henan Province, the skills of making Shehuo props have a history spanning hundreds of years.
Nearly 80 percent of the residents are engaged in the processing and production of Shehuo props in some way.
The Chief of the village is Huo Junzheng.
"Our village has thousands of products, and our handicraft industry has hundreds of years of history. You can find our products in Southeast Asia, Europe, the United States, and in all parts of China. The Shehuo industry is environmentally friendly. It can also create jobs for the surplus agricultural work force. So the government is very supportive. "
He recalls that five years ago, the Shehuo business in the village was still run along traditional lines. Villagers produced the props in small workshops, and then had to find a market for the things they made themselves. It was tough to make a profit.
The development of e-commerce, spurred on by the government's "Internet Plus" strategy has revolutionized the way the craftsmen work and sell.
"Internet Plus" encourages conventional businesses to use the internet and other information technology, such as mobile Internet, cloud computing, big data or the Internet of Things, to help them develop and grow.
One villager, Yao Hongyu, has been engaged in the Shehuo business for over 30 years.
"From 2012, we started selling products online. The internet brought a huge change for us, because in the past we're just a small workshop, but now it's mass production. The amount of sales has been doubled, and our products now can be sold all over the country, and even abroad."
Now nearly every household in the village has opened an online shop on Taobao.com. With a simple click of the mouse, their Shehuo props can be sold to every part of the world.
With an annual output value of over 100 million yuan, Huozhuang Village is now listed as one of the "Taobao Villages" in China where over 10 percent of households run online stores and village e-commerce revenues exceed 10 million yuan per year.
Another villager, Zhao Hongyan, says boosting e-commerce also encourages more farmers to return home after working away.
"In the past, my family was so poor, so all the family members left the area in search of work. Four years ago, the head of the village showed me how to open a shop online to make more money. Once the business was on its feet, I asked my husband to come back to the village. Now our income is more than twice as much as it was before, and we're also taking part in the e-commerce training sessions in the village."
Township official, Huang Zhaoyu, believes the role of "Internet Plus" has been crucial to enhancing innovation and productivity in rural areas such as Huozhuang Village
"With the popularization of the Internet and improvements in infrastructure in rural areas, 'Internet plus' has become an important model to change the local economic pattern, stimulate innovation-based employment, and increase farmers' income. We'll take advantages of the 'Taobao Village' status; make full use of e-commerce in the next step of the precision poverty alleviation."
The growth of e-commerce has brought vitality to rural areas, as villages explore a new path for China, with potential to realize sustainable economic growth and narrow the urban-rural income gap.
For CRI, this is Huang Shan.