In the lead up to International Women’s Day on March 8, we celebrate the achievements of women by showcasing success stories on Pinduoduo
Name: Huang Honglin
Occupation: Passion fruit farmer
The first time that Huang Honglin took part in a livestreaming session to promote her hometown’s produce, she sold 15 tons of passion fruit and over 10 tons of navel oranges in a single day.
Huang is a passion fruit farmer in Xunwu county in China’s southwestern Jiangxi province and the youngest member of her co-op, which comprises mostly middle-aged and elderly farmers.
After their regular offline distribution channels were disrupted by the coronavirus outbreak, she volunteered to take on the responsibility of finding online distribution channels for her co-op’s produce.
The 100-household co-op had heard of agricultural e-commerce, but were not sure where to begin, and had little incentive to try until the coronavirus outbreak overturned their regular plans.
Faced with the prospect of their harvest going to waste, Huang led her co-op to sign up with Pinduoduo (PDD), one of China’s largest e-commerce sites. She learned step-by-step from PDD staff how to print electronic waybills, package the fruit and dispatch them.
Huang’s store officially opened in mid-February, and accumulated 20,000 orders in the short span of two weeks.
Passion fruit has been popular in China in the past few years as health-conscious city-dwellers took to it for its high vitamin C content.
Xunwu county is particularly suited to the growing of passion fruit given its wide variation in day and nighttime temperature and rare-earth rich soil.
A few years ago, the county took the plunge into growing passion fruit alongside the existing orange trees. The decision proved correct as demand for the fruit helped the county shed its designation as an “impoverished county” in April 2019.
Diving into e-commerce was similarly a momentous move for Huang and the co-op.
Encouraged by her fellow villagers and supported by PDD, she took part in a special livestream organized by the platform on March 4 to spotlight farmers whose sales were threatened by the COVID-19 outbreak.
Huang’s initial trepidation around her first ever large-scale livestream gradually subsided as over 1.3 million consumers tuned in, converting tens of thousands into fans over the course of the stream.
On the CCTV news site where the livestream also aired, over 10 million unique visitors also viewed the livestream. The eventual sales were a huge success for the store.
“Being able to create and run a store with tens of thousands of orders and garner so many fans online in twenty days has given me tremendous encouragement and greater confidence,” said Huang. “In future, I will work hard to serve my consumers well and sell out all the quality fruits from our co-op.”