Dongfeng in Jiangsu province, eastern China was once a typical rural community, with most locals working in rice paddies and wheat fields. But the town has become known across China as one of the vanguard of a new breed of "e-shopping villages", locales that have rebuilt their economy and infrastructure around online commerce. Dongfeng has over 2,000 online stores, with some 70% of the 5,000 local residents in work connected to this sector. And with annual sales of around 160 million dollars, the town attracts observers from all over China, eager to find out the secret of this success.
Dongfeng's first online store was founded in 2007, when a local man returned from working in Shanghai to try his luck selling furniture online. The positive results of his venture soon drew other locals to follow in his footsteps. As China's online market outstrips even that of the US, we look at the contributions of one provincial town.