Video platforms help propel China’s rural revitalization

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China’s rural revitalization drive is gaining momentum, thanks to the burgeoning growth of short video and livestreaming platforms.

Douyin (the domestic Chinese version of TikTok) has witnessed a substantial increase in content produced in rural areas, with approximately 4.5 billion such videos uploaded over the past year, accumulating more than 23 trillion views and over 400 billion likes.

Topics such as “guardians of the countryside” and “new rural creators in 2023” have generated over 740 billion interactions. This indicates that the vision of rural revitalization is increasingly becoming a reality.

This trend is prompting an increasing number of young individuals to return to rural areas and participate in various aspects of their development, from promoting local agricultural products to preserving cultural heritage.

Shen Dan, for instance, returned to her hometown in Fujian and began recording the picturesque landscapes and local cuisine through short videos in 2018. These videos introduced viewers to the region’s unique agricultural products, like tea leaves, dried bamboo shoots, and smoked geese, generating interest and boosting Shen’s e-commerce business. In the first half of this year alone, Shen’s team sold 790,000 agricultural products on Douyin, and her account now boasts over 20 million followers.

Li Linghui, from Henan, specializes in Chen-style Tai Chi. She began by mimicking Tai Chi moves on her Douyin account and eventually developed her unique style of content. In a short space of time, she gained 380,000 followers. Afterward, she decided to return to her hometown and promote Tai Chi culture full-time.

These platforms are also giving rise to a new generation of rural entrepreneur. For example, Chen Feiyi, a pig farmer from Fujian, started a Douyin account in 2020 to share accessible pig rearing knowledge and techniques. His informative yet catchy videos quickly became popular. Today, he has 760,000 followers.