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Mentors help village newcomers get to grips with livestream marketing

China Daily| Updated: June 28, 2022 L M S


Jin Haomin, an e-commerce expert, gives a free workshop on livestream marketing to newcomers at Jiangbei Xiazhu, Zhejiang province. The location is known as China's "top livestreaming e-commerce village". [Photo provided to China Daily]

On Wednesday afternoons, e-commerce expert Jin Haomin usually gives a free workshop at a village in Zhejiang province to newcomers who want to try their hand at livestream marketing.

The 35-year-old is among a group of 35 mentors offering help for startups in Jiangbei Xiazhu, which has been dubbed China's "top livestreaming e-commerce village" in Yiwu city, the world's largest small commodities wholesale market.

Anyone can start their own business by simply using a smartphone to create a popular video promoting a top-selling item online. Many rags-to-riches stories have attracted people nationwide to take up livestreaming in the village.

However, these newcomers encounter a range of problems, including renting accommodations, opening online shops, filming and editing videos, and deciding what to sell.

Jin said, "Numerous people arrive in the village, ranging from the younger generation to those in their 60s, as well as couples. They have different levels of education and knowledge about livestreaming.

"Some sold roasted corn back in their hometowns, but they know little about livestreaming. They leave home seeking a better life and are eager to make money, but they have no idea how to start. They need help," he said.

Born and raised in Jiangbei Xiazhu, Jin has witnessed the emergence of the booming livestreaming industry. In 2008, he launched a brand specializing in cross-stitch embroidery, and followed this up by starting an online store five years later.

The village is home to about 1,000 e-commerce brands and 6,400 small and micro-sized market entities, with 30,000 people involved in the industry. On average, 1.5 million parcels are mailed from Jiangbei Xiazhu each day, and the industry's annual turnover has reached more than 30 billion yuan ($4.47 billion), according to official data.

To regulate the industry and help newcomers, a service center was launched in the village in 2019. The phone numbers of mentors such as Jin are posted at the center to help newcomers.

"More than 10 people call me every day to ask various questions, but you can't imagine the kind of difficulties they get into," Jin said. "All the mentors are experienced in the sector and have the ability to help others. Many are members of the Communist Party of China, who act as role models for the industry."

Jin joined the Party in 2006 while serving in the army, and last year he became the Party head of the Yiwu social e-commerce association.

"This is a win-win project. Some day, the mentors will learn from the newcomers. As a local resident, I also want to make my hometown a better place," he said.

Yiwu is home to some 150 mentors, who voluntarily help newcomers and guide the healthy development of business. The mentors are organized by the Party's branches in the industry, including online celebrity training institutions, law firms and market supervision departments.