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Intel helps boost rural informatization
Last Updated(Beijing Time):2009-04-14 14:53

Since February 1, 2009, computer is covered in the scope of "home appliances going to the countryside" in China. Rural residents in these areas can enjoy some discounts if they buy computers of some certain models in designated outlets. Such a move will substantially promote the rural informatization development, and make the rural informatization strategy implemented in China by Intel since 2004 have a new goal.

In 2007, Qian Yongyan, who lives in Baima town, Meishan city of Sichuan province, bought a second-hand computer at RMB1500 yuan for his own Minxing Agricultural Material Chain Store, and his view became much broader at once. Via internet, he keeps contact with professors of the agricultural science institute, instructs villagers to conduct scientific plantation, cultivation, and farm product processing, and searches for the quality of seeds and chemical fertilizers he sells and learns the market product information. In the first year, he found sales channels for the 230,000-jin oranges of the local 8 households and sold them at RMB150, 000 yuan. With the computer, Qian Yongyan's store gets closer to the farmers and the business gets better. Its sales amount grows from over RMB200, 000 yuan in the last year to over RMB600, 000 yuan. Qian Yongyan, who graduated from a technical school, told the respondent, "Sun, Manager of Department of the new market development of Intel Chengdu Agency is my friend, and if I have problems about computer, I'll ask him." Last year, Qian bought a notebook computer and specially selected one with Intel chip. Feeling his beloved subject, he told the respondent, "A rural computer with Intel structure is easy to operate. It enhanced the management efficiency of the agricultural material store and helped me better serve the farmers."

Nowadays, "online farmers" like Qian yongyan have been spread to over 18,000 agricultural material chain stores in Sichuan province. In 2005, after Sichuan province became the pilot area of the nationwide rural informatization of the "market project of numerous villages", Intel (China) Co., Ltd. started cooperation with Sichuan Telecom immediately on exploration of the informatization construction of the rural circulation system. Its content is introducing Intel-structured rural computers, ADSL network and chain management software to ensure the operation quality of agricultural material and perfect the rural circulation system on the basis of the agricultural material chain stores. In the future 2 years, the total number of agricultural material chain stores in Sichuan province will increase to 40,000, covering 90 percent of towns and over 70 percent of administrative villages in Sichuan. "Firstly, we guide the large families and professional leaders to use computers, and then promote other farmers. This is the important strategy of Intel to drive the rural informatization." Zhou Li of Intel (China) Co., Ltd. summarized.

Zhou Li, after working for Intel (China) Co., Ltd. for 8 years, was designated as the Manager of rural affairs of the company. The new institution is mainly responsible for the internal resource integration of Intel, and cooperation with related departments in China, so as to better deal with the rural informatization development. Calling himself the "director of rural office" of Intel, Zhou Li told the respondent that although the division of rural affairs was established just this year, Intel has become its exploration of Chinese rural informatization promotion since 2004. In 2005, Intel set up the channel platform group and design center focusing on newly emerging market businesses and developed special computer suitable for the Chinese rural areas, which can be applied to the rural families, village information centers, base management department and SMEs; in 2006, Intel sign the "Memorandum of joint promotion of informatization in Chinese rural areas, cities, enterprises and logistics and other fields" with the Ministry of the Information Industry at that time; from 2007 to 2009, Intel-supported agricultural informatization pilot project took the lead in allocating 6,000 rural computers in 5 provinces and cities, and trained 30,000 rural information assistants and 5,000 relevant technicians on computer operation.

Zhou Li said, "At present, 840 million farmers can get access to the internet, about a half of which use computer at home. Since February 2009, computer was included in the product lists of home appliances going to the countryside, and could enjoy price preferential, which will definitely improve the speed of the Chinese rural informatization construction greatly, and provide Intel with new ample scope for abilities."

As known to us, Intel is a renowned chip manufacturer. It does neither produce computer nor provide network access or content services. So what role such a company can play in the Chinese rural informatization construction, and how can it get profit? Zhou Li introduced that the major work of Intel is to conduct market survey and provide relevant information for related departments and enterprises. Moreover, what needs to do is to build a bridge and negotiate with related parties in China to provide better solutions for the rural informatization. For example, as to the computer type farmers need, Intel has done a thematic survey and found that they regarded computer as a piece of important "large furniture" for their families, so they pay more attention to the quality than the price. Intel fed back the information to computer manufacturers, so the latter can produce products more suitable for the rural market.

Yang Xu, Intel's Vice President and President of Greater China Region, believes that with the revealing of the "computer going to the countryside" activity, the year of 2009 will probably be the new starting point of the Chinese rural areas to get connected with the whole world. Different from other home appliance product, computer is a direct drive for the productivity improvement. Some of the his farmer friends have tried to use computer and internet to manage the farms including fodder inventory, supply and demand information, and product data management, and the benefit is obviously improved. But in more less developed regions in China, the informatization construction just begins, and there is still a lot of work undone to help the rural development with information technology. Yang Xu said that Intel will actively coordinate with various local governments and cooperate with industrial partners as broadband, software and service providers to jointly develop comprehensive rural information and service platform the numerous farmers can afford and use well, easily, and effectively. Currently, Intel is preparing various technologies and products with industrial cooperative partners for the "computer going to the countryside", for it is not enough to just send computers to the countryside. They should teach farmers how to fish besides giving fish.

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