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In rural China, shoppers go online - with a little help

Alibaba trains local 'partners', who set up service centres in villages, helping locals shop online

RURAL REACH A customer checking on a parcel at an Alibaba rural service centre in Jinjia Village, Tonglu, in Zhejiang province, last week.

Tonglu, China

CHENG Yonghao left his village in central Henan province almost 20 years ago, not expecting to return. He's now back home, and this week opened a village store to help locals shop online.

Mr Cheng is just one of an army of local recruits who are part of Alibaba Group'

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