Discussion: Four years ago, China Mobile launched Nongxintong, a farming information service that delivers timely information and news directly to rural Chinese farmers via their mobile phones. Running on a web and mobile-based platform, subscribers receive text or audio messages updating them on market prices, buyers, sellers, and job opportunities – all tailored to their needs. Meanwhile, the social networking site Wokai connects the profiles of Chinese borrowers with lenders from 47 countries, an incredible resource for the second largest micro-credit demand in the world. The bottom line: rural Chinese farmers save time and energy, reduce costs, increase profits, and perhaps most importantly, have less worries.
Source: BBC News
Date: December 19, 2010
Questions for discussion:
- Discuss how mobile farming is helping to narrow the huge income gap between rural counties and bustling cities in China.
- Thus far, why are smartphones for 700 million rural Chinese more efficient and less costly than the Internet?