A vocational school in China offers speical course which trains students to become online business owners by setting shop on the consumer e-commerce site, Taobao Marketplace. It says one of the graduates currently has an annual turnover of 10 million yuan (US$1.6 million). The first batch of students graduated in June from the Yiwu Industrial and Commercial College, located in the Zhejiang province, eastern China. Yiwu is the place well-known as the ‘China Commodity City’, where it is the largest small commodity wholesale market in the world. With huge geographic advantage, the school has been the focus since it launched its entrepreneurial classes three years ago …
The special course has a unique teaching management concept leads to its classroom looking like a variety shop. You cannot find student desk but shelves instead. Students here start their courses with registering an account on Taobao, the largest consumer e-commerce site in China, similar to Ebay. They have to learn how to design their storefront and how to source stock and identify purchasing trends. Students go for an average of 20 lessons in a week, including six hands-on lessons. For instance, in a class on copywriting, students are tested on how to write a short product description. For a film and photography class, they are tested on how they capture photos of products. The students get credits according to their sales performance and trustworthiness on Taobao. It is estimated that 17 percent of its students can earn as much of US$1,600 every month, which is four times more than the average income of ordinary people in China.
Later the vocational school came up with another bold suggestion. They wanted to turn a village near the school into “Taobao Town”, a place which assembly many e-commerce sellers. There are many empty houses in Yiwu after reconstruction in 2009. Every family had 500 square meters room in average. They rented their rooms to students to do e-commerce for extra money. Soon, businesses such as supermarkets, restaurants, and other stalls flourished as residents in the town saw students doing well and started to experiment and replicate the success in their brick-and-mortar business. Now every house has fiber-to-the-home and broadband connection. More than 20 courier companies had their office branches settled down promising to provide better delivery service. The latest statistics show that annual transaction in this town has reached US$319.6 million dollars.
By 2015, China will likely become the largest online retail market in the world, with close to 10 percent of retail sales occurring online. China’s e-commerce is still at a developing stage. The Chinese government’s plan hopes to drive online retail transactions to 3 trillion yuan (US$476 billion) to represent more than 9 percent of total retail sales in the country. Currently, China has 193 million online shoppers, which outstrips the 170 million in the US, more than double the number in Japan, and five times that of the UK. We believe more Chinese school will introduce courses that related to e-commerce and Chinese youngster will learn more how to become web entrepreneurship.
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