SCIENTIA GEOGRAPHICA SINICA ›› 2019, Vol. 39 ›› Issue (6): 947-956.doi: 10.13249/j.cnki.sgs.2019.06.010

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A Multidimensional Analysis of Rural Restructuring Driven by E-commerce: A Case of Xiaying Village in Central China

Yingnan Zhang1,2,3,Hualou Long1,2,3(),Shuangshuang Tu1,4,Yurui Li1,3,Li Ma1,2,3,Dazhuan Ge5   

  1. 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
    2. College of Resources and Environment,University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
    3. Key Laboratory of Regional Sustainable Development Modeling, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
    4. Key Laboratory of Environment Change and Resources Use in Beibu Gulf, Nanjing Normal University, the Ministry of Education, Nanning 530001, Guangxi, China
    5. College of Geography, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing 210023, Jiangsu, China
  • Received:2018-09-06 Revised:2018-12-17 Online:2019-06-10 Published:2019-06-10
  • Contact: Hualou Long
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(41731286);China Postdoctoral Science Foundation(2018M630197)


In recent years, the boom of rural e-commerce in China has produced obvious effect on the morphology of economy, society and space in rural areas. Attempting to reveal the process and mechanism of rural restructuring driven by e-commerce, we applied semi-structural interview to depict and analyze the characteristics of this transition from the dimensions of economy, society and ecology. Moreover, we synthesized participatory rural appraisal and GIS techniques to map and quantitatively illustrate the spatial changes. Ultimately, the influential factors and characteristics of this pioneering undertaking were analyzed. The results showed dramatic changes in socio-economic morphology of Xiaying Village. Firstly, as for industrial mode, the pattern dominated by traditional agriculture has been transformed to that with a combination of the primary, secondary and tertiary industries. The industrial chain that integrates production, processing and selling has gradually formed, so that the industrial structure tends to be comprehensive and presents an ecological transition. Secondly, a growing number of young people who have become the mainstream of rural development get employed in non-agricultural industry, which indicates that rural e-commerce is an effective path for realizing situ urbanization. Rural e-commerce complicates the interest relationship among villagers and awakens their subject consciousness, thereby causing the increasing diversification of governance mainstream. In response, the trend of public service perfection, lifestyle modernization and social communication visualization becomes prominently. Thirdly, the element flows and their inherent physical movement resulted in the changes of their space carrier, concretely embodies in the gradual compression of agricultural production space and the intensive expansion of non-agricultural production space. Production-ecological compound space has experienced a sharp increase, and living space tends to be multifunctional and intensive. Fourthly, the industrial foundation of kallaite exploitation and processing plays a pivotal role in the process of rural restructuring in Xiaying Viallge. Besides, the e-commerce platform, logistics infrastructure, rural elites, resource endowments, as well as government support also function as the initial engine, resource support and external power. Finally, we analyzed the obstacles of rural restructuring and proposed some targeted countermeasures. Moreover, challenges and opportunities created by e-commerce for rural areas of inland and coastal areas were discussed, respectively.

Key words: rural e-commerce, the space of flows, rural restructuring, rural vitalization, multidimensional analysis

CLC Number: 

  • F129.9