LHASA, Dec. 26 (Xinhua) — Lhagyel’s house has been swarmed by villagers and relatives coming to catch a glimpse of his new refrigerator.
Though it not the fridge that caught everyone’s attention, but how he managed to get the fridge from Chengdu, capital of southwest China’s Sichuan Province, to Medog County, southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region.
“Earlier this month, I was surfing JD.com and found that they provide delivery services to Medog for big commodities such as fridges,” Lhagyel said. “In the past, no e-commerce websites ever delivered such goods to Medog.”
Medog in southeastern Tibet is home to a complex terrain full of geological hazards that makes transportation difficult. The county did not have a highway until 2013, the last county in China to do so. Online shopping for big commodities was all but impossible.
JD.com is one of the country’s leading shopping websites, and recently announced that it had extended delivery services to Medog and Ngari Prefecture in Tibet.
“I spent 699 yuan (101 U.S. dollars) on the fridge, and it reached my doorstep in 11 days,” Lhagyel said.
The fridge was the first online order for a big domestic appliance for Medog, according to JD.com.
Delivering it proved difficult. It took five drivers, over more than 3,000 km, 11 days to bring the fridge to Medog.
“The drivers carried the fridge on the most dangerous sections of the Sichuan-Tibet Highway and over more than 10 mountains more than 5,000 meters high,” a JD.com employee said.
In Lhagyel’s hometown, there are three stores selling domestic appliances, but the brand choices are limited and the prices are much higher than online.
“Local villagers are really excited about online shopping, and many have asked me to help them as they do not know how to do it,” Lhagyel said. “Online shopping was once a distant dream for us in Medog. Now our dreams have come true.”
By the end of March this year, Tibet had about 1.64 million Internet users. Last year, mobile transactions accounted for 83.3 percent of all online transactions in Tibet, according to Alipay.