China saw a boom in e-commerce in rural areas last year as the rural population increasingly went online for business and shopping.
Online retail volume in rural areas topped 1.24 trillion yuan (194.1 billion U.S. dollars) last year, up 39.1 percent year on year, according to the Ministry of Commerce.
Over 9.8 million online shops were based in villages by the end of 2017, up 20.7 percent year on year, creating over 28 million jobs.
Clothing, shoes, and bags are the most popular sub-sectors in rural e-commerce, while online tourism emerged as the fastest growing niche market expanding by 66.8 percent year on year.
Rural areas in eastern China still took the lion's share of the total rural e-commerce market, while northeastern villages posted the strongest growth last year.
E-commerce development in impoverished villages grew much faster than the national average, rising 52.1 percent year on year, according to the ministry.