Chinese Internet Sourcing Giant Dives Into Rural Areas

China's B2B e-commerce group Alibaba and Shanghai Rural Commercial Bank have reached a comprehensive strategic cooperation agreement to jointly provide services to small- and medium-sized enterprises as well as farmers in rural areas in China.

The services will cover many sectors, including credit financial services, joint-branded credit card, electronic payments, Internet marketing, and fund settlement. In addition, the two parties will jointly launch financial services targeting Alibaba's online SME members.

Prior to this, Alibaba has formed strategic partnerships with Chinese banks such as Bank of China, China Construction Bank, and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China. However, this is reportedly the first time for the e-commerce group to cooperate with a regional bank with the aim of serving Chinese SMEs, agriculture firms, farmers, and rural areas.

SRCB is said to be a Shanghai local bank with the most SME loan clients in the region. Its main business is providing financial services to regional SMEs and corporations related to agriculture, farmers, and rural areas.

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