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A small Chinese village shows the way in selling yarn online

A few years ago, most of the 2,000 or so villagers in Donggaozhuang, northern China, were struggling to put food on the table by growing wheat and corn. Now, dozens of them are millionaires and more on well on their way of making six-figure fortunes after switching to selling yarn online.

Donggaozhuang’s success story started with the idea of one villager, who set up an e-shop on Taobao, China’s largest online commerce platform, to sell yarn. Things went way better than he had anticipated, and in just three months, he had made a small fortune.

Word of his booming business spread like wildfire around Donggaozhuang, and the village elders soon approached the man, asking him to teach other members of the community how to set up their own online businesses. Since yarn had worked so well for Donggaozhuang’s first online entrepreneur, everyone followed in his footsteps and they all started making money. They started buying wool, turning it into yarn and selling that on Taobao.

But Donggaozhuang isn’t the only rural success story to come out of China. Nanliu, a small village in Shaanxi province, has become known as China’s stock trading village after many local farmers switched to trading stocks online.