Transcript: Ep. 1 - China's E-Commerce Revolution | Oct 02, 2018A caption reads "NHK Documentary."
Clips shows image of men loading and unloading packages.
The narrator says THIS IS A VILLAGE
IN A COASTAL AREA OF CHINA.
EVERY DAY, MORE THAN ONE
HUNDRED THOUSAND PARCELS ARE
DELIVERED FROM HERE TO REGIONS
THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY.
THEY'RE ALL PRODUCTS PEOPLE
HAVE ORDERED THROUGH ONLINE
Clips show men sorting parcels of online ordered products.
On a TV event, a presenter says "Bargain sale promotion of online shopping."
The narrator says ONE OUT OF EVERY THREE OF
CHINA'S 1.4 BILLION PEOPLE
A clip from a TV show rolls. Subtitles read "In just 52 seconds, transactions topped one billion yuan (145 million US dollars)!"
The narrator says THE SPREAD OF SMARTPHONES HAS
HELPED CHINA'S E-MARKET GROW TO
BE THE BIGGEST IN THE WORLD,
WITH ANNUAL REVENUES EXCEEDING
600 BILLION US DOLLARS.
PEOPLE IN CHINA'S RURAL AREAS
LIVE TOO FAR AWAY FROM MARKETS
TO BE BIG CONSUMERS, BUT ONLINE
SHOPPING HAS ERASED DISTANCE.
A woman says "I bought shoes for my husband. Nice, aren't they?"
The narrator says CHINA'S LEADERS ARE ENCOURAGING
PEOPLE NOT ONLY IN BIG CITIES,
BUT ALSO IN RURAL AREAS, TO
ACCESS THESE MARKETS.
An animated map shows the marketing connections between areas.
A caption reads "Li Keqiang. Premier of China."
Li is in his sixties, with short black hair and wears glasses, a blue suit, white shirt and polka dotted red tie.
He says "Like merging streams into a mighty river, we will expand consumption. We will spur economic growth by waking up the slumbering consumption."
The narrator says YOUNG PEOPLE ARE JOINING FORCES
AS THEY DREAM OF TAPPING THE
HUGE ONLINE SHOPPING MARKET TO
ARMED WITH PERSONAL COMPUTERS,
THEY ARE HOPING TO LATCH ON TO
THE CHINESE DREAM.
A young man says "My goods sell well. I'm happy that my dreams have come true."
The narrator says BUT GIVEN THE FIERCE
COMPETITION, SOME SEE THEIR
THE BALLOONING ONLINE RETAIL
MARKET IS FEEDING APPETITES OF
PEOPLE IN RURAL AREAS AND BIG
WE DIVE DEEP INTO THIS CONSUMER
CHINA: THE GREAT
Chinese symbols appears as an animation shows a dragon twirling and spotting fire. The name of the show reads "China. The great dragon. China's E-commerce revolution."
A caption reads "Qing Yan Liu, Zhejiang Province."
The narrator says ZHEJIANG PROVINCE IN CHINA.
ONE VILLAGE HERE IS HOME TO
MANY E-COMMERCE SHOPS THAT
SELLS GOODS ONLINE.
IT'S KNOWN AS TAOBAO VILLAGE,
IN REFERENCE TO TAOBAO, CHINA'S
BIGGEST ONLINE MARKETPLACE.
A man walks in an apartment and says HEY.
The narrator says WE ARE VISITING AN APARTMENT
CROWDED WITH PEOPLE AND
31-YEAR-OLD JIANG WEI HAS BEEN
SELLING T-SHIRTS ONLINE SINCE
Jiang has short black hair with the bottom of his head shaved and wears jeans and a black T-shirt.
Jiang shows a plain white T-shirt and says "Simple ones like this are our bestsellers. We're turning a profit."
The narrator says JIANG OPENED HIS ONLINE SHOP ON
THE WEBSITE HAS 500 MILLION
Jiang points at the computer screen and says "We've sold 507 today, the same as yesterday. It's about 20,000 yuan (2,900 US dollars) in sales."
The narrator says JIANG GREW UP IN A POOR INLAND
AFTER GRADUATING FROM JUNIOR
HIGH SCHOOL, HE WORKED AT A
SPINNING FACTORY, EARNING A
SALARY OF AROUND 700 DOLLARS A MONTH.
BUT WHEN HE AND HIS WIFE HAD A
CHILD, HE REALIZED HE COULDN'T
HOPE FOR A PROSPEROUS LIFE IF
HE STAYED WHERE HE WAS, SO HE
JUMPED INTO THE WORLD OF
NOW HIS BEST MONTHLY PROFITS
REACH ABOUT 35,000 DOLLARS, AND HE'S
SUPPORTING TEN RELATIVES FROM
HIS HOME VILLAGE.
Jiang says "I didn't expect I would do this well after only several months. My friends call it a miracle."
The caption changes to "November 2014."
The narrator says THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT HAS BEEN
PAYING A LOT OF ATTENTION TO
THE SUCCESS THAT ONLINE VENDORS
LIKE JIANG ARE HAVING.
PREMIER LI KEQIANG VISITED THE
VILLAGE IN 2014.
HE SAID THAT E-COMMERCE WAS NOW
DRIVING THE CHINESE ECONOMY.
Li talks to an employee and says "You, too, can become a success. Now you're an employee, but in the future you can become a company president."
The narrator says THAT DREAM BECAME A REALITY FOR
HE IS NOW A COMPANY PRESIDENT,
SELLING 500 T-SHIRTS A DAY AT
6 DOLLARS EACH.
IT TOOK HIM ONLY FOUR MONTHS.
An interviewer says "Where are your orders coming from?"
Jiang says "They come from all over China. We're rapidly expanding our territory."
The narrator says A LOOK AT THE ORDER
DESTINATIONS SHOWS A DISTINCT
A map of China pops up and shows the locations of Beijing and Shanghai.
The narrator says MANY PEOPLE IN RURAL AREAS IN
INLAND CHINA, EVEN AS FAR AS
THE TIBET AUTONOMOUS REGION,
ARE BUYING HIS GOODS.
WE FOLLOWED THE PATH OF ONE
T-SHIRT JIANG SOLD.
The caption changes to "San Zuo, Guizhou Province."
The narrator says THE VILLAGE OF SAN ZUO IS ONE
OF THE POOREST AREAS OF CHINA.
PEOPLE EARN LESS THAN 4,500 DOLLARS A
The delivery boy knocks at the door of a very humble residence.
(SPEAKING CHINESE DIALECT)
The narrator says THE PERSON WHO
ORDERED THE T-SHIRT IS A MAN
WORKING AT A FACTORY IN THE
The man tries on the T-shirt and says "It fits perfectly. I'm happy with it."
The narrator says PEOPLE LIVING IN VILLAGES LIKE
THIS ARE RAPIDLY BEGINNING TO
(SPEAKING CHINESE DIALECT)
The Chinese flag files.
The narrator says THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT IS
STRONGLY TOUTING E-COMMERCE AS
A WAY TO TRANSFORM THE
COUNTRY'S RURAL AREAS.
Li says "We will promote the diffusion of online shopping to rural areas. We will tackle the building of 'new villages.'"
An animate map shows China's exports to the world.
The narrator says UP TO NOW, CHINA HAS GROWN BY
MASS PRODUCING GOODS USING
CHEAP LABOUR, AND EXPORTING
THESE PRODUCTS OVERSEAS.
BUT THE COUNTRY'S ECONOMIC
GROWTH HAS SLOWED DOWN BECAUSE
OF RAPIDLY RISING LABOUR COSTS
AND OTHER FACTORS.
THUS THE WORLD'S SECOND LARGEST
ECONOMY IS NOW FOCUSING ITS
EFFORTS ON SPURRING DOMESTIC
IT'S A STRUCTURAL CHANGE FROM
DEPENDENCE ON EXPORTS, TO A
GREAT INCREASE IN DOMESTIC
THE KEY TO THAT SHIFT IS THE
ROUGHLY 600 MILLION RURAL
RESIDENTS, MAINLY FARMERS.
THEY WERE LEFT BEHIND BY
CHINA'S ECONOMIC BOOM, AND CUT
OFF FROM OPPORTUNITIES FOR
BUT INCOMES HAVE DOUBLED IN THE
LAST TEN YEARS, AS PEOPLE WENT
TO THE CITIES FOR SEASONAL
A bar graph appears showing the annual income for rural residents steady growth from 2007 to 2015 (1,600 US dollars in 2015).
The narrator says THE GOVERNMENT WANTS E-COMMERCE
TO AWAKEN THIS LATENT
PURCHASING POWER, AND EXPECTS
IT TO CREATE AN EXPLOSION OF
THIS IS THE VILLAGE OF XIANG
WAN, IN JIANGXI PROVINCE.
IT IS ONE OF THE PLACES THAT
DIDN'T ENJOY THE BENEFITS OF
THE ECONOMIC BOOM, AND HAS NO
ADEQUATE WATER SUPPLY
THE YOUNG PEOPLE HAVE LEFT TO
WORK IN THE CITIES.
AND THE REMAINING FIVE HUNDRED
OR SO OLDER PEOPLE IN THE
VILLAGE GET BY ON THEIR OWN
THEY COULDN'T SHOP BECAUSE
THERE WERE NO STORES, BUT IN
2015, A SERVICE CENTRE FOR
ONLINE SHOPPING WAS OPENED
TOGETHER WITH E-COMMERCE
COMPANIES, THE GOVERNMENT SET
UP THIS MARKET WHERE ONLINE
ORDERS CAN BE PLACED.
ABOUT 40,000 OF THESE E-MARKET
PLACES HAVE BEEN ESTABLISHED
AROUND CHINA, MAINLY IN INLAND
An old woman says "I bought a comforter today. It's a coverlet."
A younger woman says "Elderly people can buy everything online without having to leave their homes."
The narrator says THE SCALE OF THE RURAL
E-COMMERCE MARKETPLACE HAS
INCREASED SIX FOLD OVER THE
PAST THREE YEARS.
THE GOVERNMENT HAS ALSO
DIRECTED THE IMPROVEMENT OF
TRANSPORT INFRASTRUCTURE, SO
THAT GOODS CAN BE SHIPPED
ANYWHERE WITHIN THE VAST
REACHES OF CHINA.
DURING THE PAST EIGHT YEARS,
MORE THAN ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND
KILOMETRES OF NEW ROADS HAVE
BEEN BUILT IN RURAL AREAS.
BETTER CONNECTIVITY HAS
RADICALLY CHANGED CONSUMPTION
PATTERNS IN THESE VILLAGES.
RURAL VILLAGES, ONCE CUT OFF
FROM THE TRENDS AND FADS OF THE
DAY, CAN NOW BUY THE LATEST
The caption changes to "Jiangxi Province."
A clip shows women working at a factory in the village.
The narrator says A STAFF MEMBER OF AN ONLINE
SHOPPING HUB IN THIS VILLAGE
DELIVERS ORDERED PRODUCTS.
AS SOON AS AN ORDERED ITEM IS
DELIVERED, ANOTHER ORDER IS
A factory worker says "I'll buy a tube of shampoo."
Another one says "Do you want one? I'll buy two for you."
A third woman says "She wants some, too."
The narrator says CONSUMPTION STIMULATES DESIRE,
LEADING TO FURTHER CONSUMPTION.
Another woman says "As long as it's affordable, I'll buy anything on impulse."
The narrator says THIS IS A GRAND ATTEMPT TO
BRING MARKETS NOT ONLY TO THE
COASTAL CITIES WHERE
CONSUMPTION WAS CONCENTRATED,
BUT ALSO TO THE INLAND RURAL
VILLAGES, THE 1.4 BILLION
STRONG CONSUMER REVOLUTION IS
NOW IN FULL SWING.
The caption changes to "Taobao Village."
The narrator says MORE AND MORE, RURAL AREAS ARE
BECOMING A PART OF THE BOOMING
AND YOUNG PEOPLE SEEKING THEIR
FORTUNES ARE BEING DRAWN TO
ZHANG ZEHAO IS 27.
HE GRADUATED FROM UNIVERSITY
BUT COULDN'T LAND A JOB HE
WANTED, SO HE CAME TO THIS
VILLAGE FROM A CITY IN THE
Zhang has short black hair and wears glasses, beige trousers and a white T-shirt with a print on the front.
He says "I carried this bag from my old place, 2,600 kilometers away. It's heavy."
An interviewer says "That's all you brought?"
Zhang says "That's right."
The narrator says THE COAL MINING INDUSTRY WAS
ONCE THE MAINSTAY OF ZHANG'S
HOMETOWN, BUT TODAY, IT'S IN
SO HE DECIDED TO STAKE HIS
FUTURE ON E-COMMERCE.
Zhang says "The Chinese economy is stagnating now. I won't succeed by doing the kind of work of the past. If I do my best here, I'm sure to succeed."
The narrator says TOGETHER WITH TWO PEOPLE HE MET
HERE IN THE VILLAGE, ZHANG
STARTED AN ONLINE SHOP THREE
25-YEAR-OLD FANG JILONG
GRADUATED FROM A PROFESSIONAL
COLLEGE WHERE HE STUDIED IT.
HE'S ALSO AIMING TO MAKE HIS
MARK IN THE VILLAGE.
Fang has short black hair and wears a blue T-shirt.
The narrator says 22-YEAR-OLD WANG BIN IS ANOTHER
Wang has short black hair and wears glasses and a white T-shirt with a print on the front.
The narrator says HE TOO COULDN'T FIND THE RIGHT
JOB, SO HE JOINED THE WORLD OF
THERE IS ONE PERSON THE THREE
LOOK UP TO.
Another man looks at a picture on a wall and says "Jack Ma is looking out for you."
The narrator says JACK MA FOUNDED THE ONLINE
MARKETING GIANT ALIBABA.
JACK MA GRADUATED FROM
UNIVERSITY, BUT HE FAILED 30
TIMES TO GET A JOB.
BUT FROM THERE, HE EVENTUALLY
BECAME THE BEST KNOWN SUCCESS
STORY IN CHINA.
IN 15 YEARS, HE HAS CREATED A
HUGE ENTERPRISE, WITH A MARKET
CAPITALIZATION OF 250 BILLION
At a conference, Jack Ma says "Online shopping is this: it's building future businesses using IT."
The narrator says JACK MA CREATED THE ONLINE
TAOBAO HAS ITS OWN UNIQUE
SYSTEM-- WHEN CUSTOMERS ORDER
ITEMS, THEY PAY ONLINE.
ONLY WHEN ITEMS ARE DELIVERED
AND CUSTOMERS SEND NOTICE
THEY'RE SATISFIED WITH THEIR
PURCHASES, PAYMENT IS MADE TO
THIS SYSTEM HAS WON THE TRUST
OF SHOPPERS IN CHINA, WHERE
THERE ARE MANY COUNTERFEIT
GOODS ON THE MARKET.
A clip from a TV event rolls. The presenter says "3,2,1, start!"
The narrator says JACK MA STARTED THIS GLITZY
GALA EVENT IN 2009.
NOVEMBER 11TH IS SINGLES' DAY.
IT STARTED OUT AS A PROMOTIONAL
DAY FOR SINGLE PEOPLE TO BUY
SOMETHING FOR THEMSELVES, BUT
IT'S MORPHED INTO A DAY WHEN
MUCH OF CHINA GOES ON A WILD
WITH TEN MILLION VIRTUAL SHOPS
PARTICIPATING, IT'S BECOME A
NATIONAL EVENT, WITH SALES
REVENUE TOPPING TEN BILLION
DOLLARS IN A SINGLE DAY.
FOR ONLINE SHOP OWNERS LIKE
ZHANG AND HIS PARTNERS, SINGLES
DAY IS A PRIME OPPORTUNITY TO
IF THEIR PRODUCTS ARE
RECOGNIZED AND GET A GOOD
REPUTATION, THEY'LL BE ABLE TO
CONTINUE SELLING THEM AFTER THE
Wang says "We've got about two months before Jack Ma's Singles' Day."
Zhang says "We need to consult with the suppliers. Let's consider how much we want supplied."
The narrator says ON THIS DAY, THE THREE PARTNERS
ARE HEADING OUT TO FIND NEW
PRODUCTS IN ANTICIPATION OF
NEXT TO THE VILLAGE IS A HUGE
WHOLESALE MARKET WITH DEALERS
HANDLING 1.7 MILLION KINDS OF
THE ENORMOUS MARKET SUPPORTS
THE ONLINE SHOPS.
ZHANG AND HIS PARTNERS ARE
SELLING ACCESSORIES FOR WOMEN.
Fang looks at a wallet and says "Let me look at this."
Wang says "It's cute."
The narrator says A WALLET WITH AN ILLUSTRATION
OF A GIRL ON THE FRONT HAS
CAUGHT THEIR EYE.
THEY RECKON THEY'LL BE POPULAR
WITH JUNIOR AND SENIOR HIGH
SCHOOL STUDENTS IN RURAL AREAS.
Zhang says "It's perfect."
Wang says "Girls will really like them."
The narrator says THEY'LL PUT THEM ON TAOBAO,
CAREFULLY ARRANGING THEM TO GET
THE ATTENTION OF YOUNG GIRLS.
Zhang says "Let's make the background brighter to make it look cute. That'll echo the bright feeling of young girls."
The narrator says THEY'LL SET THE PRICE AT ABOUT
FOUR DOLLARS, DOUBLE THEIR
AFTER DEDUCTING THE SHIPPING
COST, THEY SHOULD MAKE A PROFIT
OF 1.50 DOLLARS PER WALLET.
NOW THEY SELL ABOUT 50 ITEMS
EACH PARTNER'S MONTHLY SALARY
IS ONLY 270 DOLLARS.
THEIR TARGET IS TO SELL 500
ITEMS A DAY BY SINGLES' DAY.
THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT IS
STRONGLY ENCOURAGING YOUNG
PEOPLE TO PARTICIPATE IN
Li Kequiang says "We'll assist new university graduates in finding jobs and starting companies, especially in emerging industries."
The narrator says IN CHINA, MORE AND MORE YOUNG
PEOPLE ARE HAVING A HARD TIME
FINDING A JOB.
IN 2016, ONE OUT OF THREE
UNIVERSITY STUDENTS COULDN'T
SECURE EMPLOYMENT BY THE TIME
OF THEIR GRADUATION.
IN THE 1980S, CHINA WAS RIDING
A WAVE OF REFORM AND OPENING
THE ELITES WHO GRADUATED FROM
UNIVERSITY HAD THEIR FUTURE
BUT THEN THE GOVERNMENT RAPIDLY
INCREASED THE NUMBER OF
IN 2014, MORE THAN SEVEN
MILLION YOUNG PEOPLE GRADUATED
FROM UNIVERSITY, BUT THE NUMBER
OF JOB OPENINGS COULDN'T KEEP
A student says "There are too many undergraduate and graduate students."
The narrator says GIVEN THE CIRCUMSTANCES, THE
GOVERNMENT BEGAN ENCOURAGING
YOUNG PEOPLE TO ENTER THE FAST-
GROWING FIELD OF E-COMMERCE.
AS A RESULT, E-COMMERCE HAS
BECOME A HUGE INDUSTRY, NOW
EMPLOYING 2.65 MILLION PEOPLE.
The caption changes to "Taobao village."
The narrator says IT HAS BEEN FOUR DAYS SINCE
ZHANG AND HIS PARTNERS HAVE
UPLOADED THE WALLETS ON TAOBAO.
HOW MANY DID THEY SELL?
Zhang says "Zero sales and zero comments. No reaction at all. If there is no access, we have no prospects."
The narrator says EVEN SO, THE THREE AREN'T ABOUT
TO GIVE UP.
Wang says "Jack Ma will protect us. Let's keep up our spirit.
Zhang says "Our motto is: Yes, we can!"
They join hands and say "Yes, we can!"
Fang says "If we coordinate our efforts, we're sure to succeed."
The narrator says JIANG WEI, WHO SELLS T-SHIRTS,
IS FACING A PROBLEM AS SINGLES'
(COMPUTER ALERT BEEPING)
The narrator says THE CHIMES FROM HIS COMPUTERS
ARE ENQUIRIES FROM CUSTOMERS.
HOW E-SHOPS RESPOND TO
ENQUIRIES DECIDES THE SUCCESS
OF THEIR BUSINESS.
Jiang says "Whether we live or die depends on the customers who evaluate us."
The narrator says THIS SYSTEM ON TAOBAO THAT
ALLOWS CUSTOMERS TO EVALUATE
SHOPS IS WHAT DIFFERENTIATES
THE STORES WITH GOOD SERVICE.
A GOOD EVALUATION IS PLUS ONE
POINT, A BAD EVALUATION IS
MINUS ONE POINT.
SHOPS ON TAOBAO ARE RANKED INTO
ONE OF 20 LEVELS ACCORDING TO
An evaluation pyramid graph appears on screen.
The narrator says THE BETTER THE EVALUATIONS, THE
HIGHER THE RANKING.
JIANG'S SHOP HAS 10,000 POINTS,
PUTTING HIM JUST ABOUT IN THE
THE HIGHER THE RANKING OF THE
STORE, THE HIGHER IT IS IN THE
SEARCH LISTINGS, MAKING IT
EASIER FOR CUSTOMERS TO NOTICE
STORES THAT GET THE HIGHEST
RANKING WILL ENJOY EXPLOSIVE
SALES ON SINGLES' DAY.
HOWEVER, THERE IS A SINISTER
SIDE TO IT.
Jiang says "This customer is complaining the T-shirt was soiled."
The narrator says BESIDES THE COMPLAINT, THIS
CUSTOMER ASKS JIANG FOR MONEY
IN EXCHANGE FOR A GOOD
PAYING FOR A GOOD EVALUATION IS
Jiang says "This customer asked for fanshen. I said I'd pay 5 yuan, then they wanted 10 yuan (1.50 US dollars)."
The narrator says THESE DEMANDS CAN SOMETIMES
COST JIANG 140 DOLLARS A DAY.
BUT HE CAN'T REFUSE, BECAUSE HE
CAN'T AFFORD HAVING HIS RANKING
FALL BEFORE SINGLES' DAY.
Jiang says "Taobao prohibits fanshen. But everyone is doing it. If I refuse to pay, customers will give me bad evaluations."
The narrator says JIANG FACES ANOTHER ISSUE.
AN ITEM THAT WAS ORDERED SIX
DAYS AGO STILL HASN'T BEEN
A question from the customer reads "When will the item be delivered?"
An employee says "We have to respond."
Jiang says "We'll ship it today and it will arrive in 2 days."
The narrator says BUT THE PROBLEM PERSISTS.
They respond "We will ship it today."
The employee says "The supplier has no stock!"
Jiang says "We can only wait."
The employee says "We can't. They don't have other stock either."
The narrator says JIANG TELLS HIS STAFF TO SAY
THEY WILL SHIP THE ITEM AS SOON
AS IT ARRIVES, APOLOGIZE TO THE
CUSTOMER, AND OFFER A FANSHEN.
Jiang says "We'll pay back 10 yuan to receive a good evaluation. Good evaluations have more value than profit.
The employee says "What am I working for?"
Jiang says "As long as we get good evaluations, it's good enough."
They write a response on the webpage that reads "We will address the problem with the utmost energy."
The narrator says IN THE END, THEY PAID TEN YUAN
AND GOT A GOOD EVALUATION.
Jiang dries up his hair.
The narrator says IT'S ONE AM.
(COMPUTER ALERT CHIMING)
The narrator says AFTER TAKING A SHOWER, JIANG
HEADS RIGHT BACK TO HIS
COMPUTER TO RESPOND TO
HE GOES TO BED AT THREE IN THE
JIANG IS DOING EVERYTHING HE
CAN TO GET GOOD EVALUATIONS SO
HE CAN RAISE HIS STORE'S
RANKING BY SINGLES' DAY.
IN THE MEANTIME, THE THREE
PARTNERS SELLING WALLETS FOR
YOUNG GIRLS HAVE ENCOUNTERED A
CUSTOMERS ARE RETURNING THE
Zhang says "She didn't like it?"
One of them says "I'm disappointed."
Zhang says "Don't get discouraged. Let's find the reason for the return."
The narrator says RETURNS ARE IN FACT ALSO PART
OF THE SYSTEM FOR SORTING OUT
THE WHEAT FROM THE CHAFF.
A caption reads "Reason for return: "Did not like it."
The narrator says WITH TAOBAO, EVEN IF AN ONLINE
SHOP SHIPS AN ITEM, THE PAYMENT
IS REFUNDED TO CUSTOMERS IF
THEY'RE NOT SATISFIED.
IF IT'S WITHIN ONE WEEK, THE
BUYER CAN SEND THE ITEM BACK AT
NO COST, AND THE SHOP HAS TO
COVER THE SHIPPING.
IT'S A LIFE OR DEATH PROBLEM
FOR THE SHOP SINCE ITS
EVALUATION WILL GO DOWN IF IT
HAS MANY RETURNS.
Fang says "The customers say the wallets are different from what they had imagined."
Zhang says "I don't think it's a quality problem at all."
The narrator says RECENTLY, THEY'RE GETTING 40
RETURNS A MONTH.
SINCE THEY'RE MAKING A PROFIT
OF LESS THAN 2 DOLLARS PER ITEM, THE
RETURNS HIT THEM HARD.
A caption on the website reads "Buy 1 wallet, get 5 gifts."
The narrator says TO PREVENT RETURNS, THEY DECIDE
TO ADD BONUS GIFTS, SUCH AS A
TAPE MEASURE AND NAIL CLIPPERS.
THEY EXPECT TO BOOST THEIR
Zhang says "This is the best we can do. We hope customers see that."
Fang says "I want them to notice our efforts."
Wang says "We have to pour in everything we have."
The narrator says THERE ARE MORE THAN 10 MILLION
ONLINE SHOPS IN CHINA.
IT'S SAID ONLY ABOUT 10 percent OF
THEM WILL SURVIVE.
The narrator says CHINA HAS BECOME THE WORLD'S
BIGGEST ONLINE SHOPPING NATION.
THAT'S ALSO BROUGHT CHANGES TO
THE STRUCTURE OF CHINESE
At a conference, Jack Ma says "The world has changed beyond imagination. We will be facing these earth-shaking changes in the next 30 years."
The narrator says ALIBABA HAS LAUNCHED NEW
SERVICES, UTILISING THE DATA ON
500 MILLION PEOPLE IT HAS
AMASSED THROUGH ITS ONLINE
APPLYING THE TAOBAO SYSTEM,
ALIBABA HAS STARTED A SERVICE
THAT ENABLES CONSUMERS TO MAKE
PURCHASES WITH E-MONEY, EVEN IN
TRANSACTIONS ARE SAID TO BE
EXCEEDING 900 BILLION DOLLARS.
UTILISING BIG DATA OBTAINED
FROM THESE KINDS OF
TRANSACTIONS, ALIBABA IS
VENTURING INTO THE FIELDS OF
FINANCE AND TRANSPORT.
The caption changes to "Tabao Village."
The narrator says IT'S A MONTH UNTIL SINGLES'
JIANG WEI, THE T-SHIRT DEALER,
IS FACING A NEW PROBLEM.
Jiang says "We have to search for goods that sell."
A woman says "I wonder what's good."
Jiang says "Otherwise we'll lose."
The narrator says SALES DROPPED SHARPLY AFTER THE
THEY ARE LEFT WITH A LOT OF
JIANG HEADS TO THE WHOLESALE
INSTEAD OF T-SHIRTS, HE CHOOSES
AUTUMN AND WINTER CLOTHES, LIKE
JACKETS AND SWEATERS.
THE COST IS FOUR TIMES THAT OF
T-SHIRTS, BUT WITH SINGLES' DAY
COMING UP, JIANG BELIEVES HE'LL
BE ABLE TO SELL THEM.
HE'S DECIDED TO GAMBLE ON THESE
Jiang says "Make him up well."
A makeup artist works on a young male's makeup and says "The eyebrows are good the way they are."
The narrator says JIANG'S USING A MALE MODEL TO
INTRODUCE THE GOODS.
IT'S HIS COUSIN, WHO LIVES
Jiang takes pictures of his cousin in the clothes and says "This is great, really cool!"
The narrator says ON SINGLES' DAY, JIANG IS
AIMING FOR A BIG TURNAROUND
FROM HIS STORE'S SLUGGISH
MEANWHILE, AT THE OFFICE OF THE
THREE PARTNERS SELLING THE NEW
Zhang says "His phone is off."
Fang says "Really."
The narrator says ONE OF THE PARTNERS WENT BACK
TO HIS HOMETOWN AND HASN'T
Zhang says "It may be our fault. He might see no future working with us."
The narrator says BUT FOR FANG, THERE'S A REASON
HE CAN'T QUIT.
HE HAS A TWO-YEAR-OLD SON, AND
A DAUGHTER WHO WAS JUST BORN IN
Fang picks up his baby daughter and says "This is my daughter."
The narrator says WITH THE END OF CHINA'S ONE
CHILD POLICY, FANG HAS GOTTEN
HIS LONG AWAITED WISH, A
HE WANTS TO SEND HIS TWO
CHILDREN TO UNIVERSITY.
Fang says "I have to work as hard as I can to take care of my family. I'll realize my dream."
The narrator says SINGLES' DAY IS NOW ONLY TWO
Zhang walks in the office and says "Good morning. It's raining. How were yesterday's sales?"
Fang's wife says "So-so."
The narrator says FANG'S WIFE IS NOW WORKING WITH
THEM TO HELP OUT THE TWO
SHE TOOK HER TWO CHILDREN TO
HER PARENTS' HOME, 600
KILOMETRES AWAY, TO BE TAKEN
Fang's wife says "If I don't pitch in, who will help my husband? Since it costs money, we won't be able to return home anytime soon."
The narrator says IT'S BEEN FIVE MONTHS SINCE
THEY STARTED THEIR BUSINESS.
ZHANG AND FANG HAVE BEEN LIVING
ON THEIR SAVINGS.
SHOULD THEY STAKE THEIR FUTURES
ON ONLINE SHOPPING?
THEY'LL DECIDE DEPENDING ON THE
OUTCOME OF SINGLES' DAY.
THEY HAVE SETTLED ON FOUR ITEMS
FROM AMONG THOSE THEY HAVE
MARKETED SO FAR, AND BOUGHT
LARGE QUANTITIES OF THEM.
THEY'VE CHANNELED NEARLY 1,500
DOLLARS INTO THIS-- EQUAL TO
THEIR ENTIRE PROFITS FOR THE
THEY ARE GAMBLING EVERYTHING.
IF THEY FAIL, IT'S THE END.
The narrator says NOVEMBER 11TH.
The TV presenter says "3, 2, 1, Singles' Day has begun."
(COMPUTER ALERT CHIMING)
The narrator says IN TAOBAO VILLAGE, THE CHIMING
OF ENQUIRIES FROM CUSTOMERS
The narrator says WE VISIT THE OFFICE OF JIANG,
WHO IS SELLING A NEW LINE OF
ITEMS BESIDES T-SHIRTS.
A person on the other end of the line says "How much have you sold?"
Jiang says "Still only 21."
The other person says "That's all? You are doing well, then."
The narrator says HIS FALL AND WINTER LINEUP OF
MORE THAN 20 DIFFERENT ITEMS
ISN'T ATTRACTING ANY ATTENTION.
Jiang's wife says "We've only sold T-shirts."
Jiang says "A jacket, too."
His wife says "Just one jacket and one sweater. We were late in switching
to the fall and winter goods."
The narrator says THEIR COMPUTERS REMAIN SILENT.
Jiang's brother walks in and says "It's so quiet."
Jiang's wife says "Not as we'd hoped."
The brother says "Sad."
The narrator says ON THE OTHER HAND, THINGS ARE
DIFFERENT FOR ZHANG AND FANG AT
Fang's wife looks at the results on the screen and says "The latest data has come in."
Fang says "We're receiving orders every minute."
The wife says "Feels great."
The wife says "Here comes another order."
Fang says "Great! All that work is paying off."
The narrator says IT'S THE FIRST TASTE OF SUCCESS
SINCE THEY OPENED THEIR
Fang says "We reached the 100-order mark at 1:23 am. Our new record. 100 items in a day."
The narrator says 40 percent OF THEIR ORDERS CAME FROM
CUSTOMERS IN RURAL AREAS.
Fang and Zhang pat each other's shoulders and smile.
The narrator says IN THE END, THEY GOT NEARLY 400
THEY ACHIEVED SIX MONTHS WORTH
OF SALES IN ONE DAY.
Zhang says "Next year will be even better. If every day were Singles' Day, we'd have no troubles."
Fang says "That would be great."
Zhang bows and says "Jack Ma, thank you very much!"
The narrator says IT'S THE DAY AFTER SINGLES'
JIANG IS VISITING A FRIEND'S
Jiang walks in the store and says "You've been up all night?"
A woman says "We were at it until noon."
The narrator says HIS FRIEND SOLD NEARLY 2,000
A woman says "How much did you sell?"
Jiang says "About 250."
The woman says "Why were your sales so small?"
Jiang says "Only the t-shirts sold."
The narrator says JIANG REALLY FELT THE BIG GAP
BETWEEN SUCCESS AND FAILURE
CREATED BY E-COMMERCE.
HE AND HIS WIFE HAVE WORKED SO
HARD FOR THE PAST EIGHT MONTHS.
At a park, Jiang says to his wife "Shall we go back to our hometown
and look for a house?"
The wife says "Go back together?"
Jiang says "Yes, sure. Let's do some preparation and go back together."
The narrator says THEY ARE EXHAUSTED BY THEIR
DAILY LIFE OF BEING AT THE
MERCY OF THE INTERNET.
Jiang says "The online shopping business is really a dog-eat-dog world. If a smarter or harder-working person appears, you soon get weeded out."
The narrator says MEANTIME, THE FANGS ARE HAPPY
WITH THEIR BIG SALES REVENUE
FROM SINGLES' DAY.
THEY'VE DECIDED NOT TO RETURN
TO THEIR HOMETOWN, BUT TO
CONTINUE WORKING HERE, AND
FOCUS ON MAKING A SUCCESS OF
Fang's wife says "I dreamt of my babies. I want to see them so much.
A man says "Will you bring them here?"
She says "When we're able to, I'll will. The best thing is to live together."
She wipes off her tears.
The narrator says IT'S ONE WEEK AFTER SINGLES'
THERE ARE MORE NEW FACES OF
YOUNG PEOPLE WHO HAVE COME TO
TRY THEIR LUCK IN THE WORLD OF
Two men and a woman enter an apartment carrying bags.
A man says "This is our new home. Open the windows."
The narrator says IT'S A COUPLE IN THEIR 20S WHO
ARE GOING TO OPEN AN ONLINE
SHOP IN TAOBAO VILLAGE.
The man says "Our baby will be born soon. I'm really excited about this."
The woman says "This village is where the dream begins. I'm sure we'll be able to succeed."
They set up their office.
The narrator says THE DREAMS AND AMBITIONS
UNLEASHED BY ONLINE MARKETING
CONTINUE TO THRIVE IN CHINA.
CHINA'S E-COMMERCE REVOLUTION
HAS ENVELOPED ALL OF THE
NATION, AND IS MARCHING FORWARD
FOR GREATER AFFLUENCE.
AND YOUNG PEOPLE DESPERATELY
TRYING TO GRAB A PIECE OF THAT
PROSPERITY CONTINUE TO DREAM,
AND FIGHT ON.
Music plays as the end credits roll.