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China farmers peddle produce online

By staff and wire reports

HONG KONG, China (CNN) -- Over 30,000 farmers in Ningbo, a coastal city in China's Zhejiang province, are peddling their plums, peaches, and even peacocks on the Net.

Ningbo farmers have widened their business potential thanks to the Internet -- a medium they call "a bridge that leads them to fortune."

Province officials say the Internet has helped farmers sell their produce to over 20 countries and regions in the world, the People's Daily reports.

Sun Denglin, one of the first local farmers to venture online, told the newspaper that he reached a million-dollar deal with a European customer via email three years ago.

Fellow Ningbo farmer Hua Oucong has sold 1,500 peacocks over the Internet since her son helped her post online ads last year.

According to CCID Consulting, a Ministry of Information Industry subsidiary, China's e-commerce volume in 2000 totaled $9.33 billion.

The report estimates that in year 2000, $47.17 million dollars was transacted in business-to-consumer (B2C) transactions, with $9.29 billion in business-to-business (B2B).

The report also forecasts that the B2B trading volume will increase 22.8 percent to $11.39 billion, while B2C transactions are expected to climb 233.3 percent to $157.25 million in 2001.

China currently has 22 million Internet users according to official estimates.

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