Reduced Inequalities

Big data is solving big problems in China

China



China's poverty crisis

More people live in China than anywhere else in the world and in 2017, 3% of them were living in poverty. When you’re talking about a population of 1.4 billion, that’s a pretty big deal. 30 million of the country’s poor live in remote, rural areas and many do not even have running water or electricity.

Cut out the middle man

China’s President, Xi Jinping, has vowed to end poverty in the country by 2020 and to help make this happen he has teamed up with China Mobile to develop the Targeted Poverty Alleviation System (TPAS), an online platform that allows information about the poorest areas of the country to be gathered remotely. This means that civil servants no longer have to travel great distances to assess each location, saving both time and resources.

Status update

Villagers in isolated parts of the country are given a special app to instantly update the Government with crucial info regarding their area’s needs and status about matters such as health, diet, drinking water conditions, energy availability, gender equality and education opportunities so they can receive the best type of support quickly. Over time the data the TPAS receives can help the Government learn about the causes of poverty and how to take the right action to reduce it. The platform can be used in other ways too, such as helping farmers to sell their crops online and raising money to pay for medical supplies and school equipment.

Hitting the targets

So far, the Targeted Poverty Alleviation System has helped over 7 million citizens and counting in 9 of China’s 23 provinces.

“We had over ten thousand jin of fresh lotus root we had grown. It was sitting in the ground with no one to buy it. I thought the whole village was really going to suffer as 13 of us grew the crops together in our farming cooperative. We used the app to sell 20,000 jin of lotus in a month to customers on the internet, making more than 50,000 yuan! I am very, very grateful for this, it has truly saved our community.”

Lin Zhu, lotus farmer, Wanglou Village

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