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Internet Plus strategy helps Zhanjiang tea spread far and wide

Updated: 2016-04-12

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A post-90s entrepreneur born in Zhanjiang's Lianjiang county, Guangdong province, has successfully expanded the sales market for local tea via crowd funding on the Internet, creating a legend among tea farmers in the county.

Liu Yu, who graduated from university last year and inherited his family tea business in the Guangling village of the county, came up with the idea of crowd funding to provide a boost to the business.

At the beginning, Liu established the Zhiqing Agricultural Co with his two friends, hoping to lift the deteriorating local tradition to a higher stage.

Focusing on the development model of "company-tea base-farmers", the three young men pulled out all the stops to promote their hometown tea. They also set up a dozen online and offline sales markets for the promotion.

However, they were still stuck with limited market access due to the county's weak transportation and inadequate market information, with the green plants nearly drying up their investments.

Having been inspired by the success of crowd funding from another post-90s kiwi seller in Xi'an, Shannxi province, Liu and his friends tried to post the specifics of their tea leaves and videos of tea production online in March, in a bid to attract more investment.

The goal of their crowd funding was set at 10,000 yuan ($1,547) for 50 grams of tea leaves in 15 days. To their surprise, on April 7, the last but one day of the period, they had netted 11,270 yuan from 91 netizens, 13 percent more than they expected.

"Thanks to the Internet Plus strategy, we are able to exchange with our potential clients in a more interactive and transparent way. That helps us expand the sales market and attract more investment,"said Liu.

Traditional online marketing only focuses on the selling-buying relationship between the sellers and clients but with the help of crowd funding, an advanced online marketing method, both parties can share and cooperate in business, Liu added.

Liu said that in the future he was going to host more festivals related to local tea culture, in order to develop more special tourism programs and to spread tea culture to a wider audience.

Netizens of Liu's crowd funding program experience tea-picking at Liu's tea base. [Photo/gdzjdaily.com.cn]

Examination work is carried out by Liu Yu and his two friends at Liu's tea plantation. [Photo/gdzjdaily.com.cn]