Zibo becomes the country's first 'Hema City'

(chinadaily.com.cn)| Updated : 2020-07-09

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China's first Hema City, also known as the Alibaba Digital Agriculture Rural Demonstration City, was launched in Zibo, Shandong province on July 8.

Hema Fresh, the fresh food supermarket chain backed by e-commerce giant Alibaba, is a major player in China's new retail sector.

According to the cooperation agreement, a 53.33-hectare digital agricultural industry center comprising farm product storehouses will be built in Zibo.

The planned warehouses will serve as a hub for the distribution of fresh agricultural products in Shandong and northern China.


File photo: The logo of Hema Fresh [Photo/VCG]

Zibo will speed up new infrastructure construction such as 5G networks, data centers and industrial internet platforms to facilitate the digital economy.

The two sides will build four digital agriculture demonstration zones covering ranch, vegetable farm, orchard and agro-processing. 

Hou Yi, CEO of Hema Fresh, said that the company has been impressed with the passion and determination that Zibo officials have demonstrated toward the development of digital agriculture.

"Digital agriculture is not just about agricultural digitization. It involves an integrated system of standardized production and takes a long time and a huge investment," said Hou.

"The Zibo government is willing and determined to promote the development of digital agriculture, which gives us confidence to cooperate with them."

Jiang Duntao, Party secretary of Zibo, led a team to Shanghai on May 10 to facilitate this cooperation. They visited the digital agriculture base, logistics sorting and distribution center as well as a branded store of Hema Fresh.


Jiang Duntao (middle), Party secretary of Zibo, visits a Hema Fresh store in Shanghai. [Photo/cnr.cn]