Alibaba’s flash sale and marketing platform Juhuasuan said on Monday that it has updated its virtual farming feature “Jutudi” allowing farmers access to consumer sales data so that they can more accurately plan crops based on current consumer trends.

Why it’s important: Technological innovations are increasing efficiency in China’s agricultural industry. Traditionally, farmers plan their crop based on sales of the previous season. By gaining insights into user demand, crops can be planned more efficiently and costs brought by the disconnection between consumer demand and supply are lowered.



“Supported by the entire Alibaba ecosystem, Jutudi leverages the algorithm from Alibaba Cloud to help farmers plan their crops and harvest. Our smart logistics network, Cainiao, offers expedited delivery services to ensure freshness. Moreover, consumers can take advantage of flash sales on Juhuasuan to get the best bargains.”

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Details: Based on Juhuasuan’s flash sale and collective buying model, Jutudi lets consumers pre-order agricultural products before the harvest. In addition, the new Jutudi offers farmers and cooperatives analytics insights to improve their crop and supply chain management.

Context: Launched in 2014, Jutudi was originally a gamified virtual farming project where lands leased to Alibaba by farmers were then divided into plots and leased to online subscribers. The plots were managed by farm cooperatives, and subscribers would “tend” to the plots online by performing tasks such as plowing, weeding, and watering. Once the crop was ready, farmers deliver the produce to consumers.

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