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Communications of the ACM

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Alibaba, Pinduoduo Fight China's Looming Food Crisis


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The Alibaba Digital Agriculture Concentrated Transportation Processing Center in Xian, China.

Chinese companies are participating in government initiatives to stave off a looming food crisis in China.

Credit: Yuan Jingzhi/VCG/Getty Images

Internet retailer Alibaba and Chinese agriculture technology platform Pinduoduo are working on government initiatives to stave off a looming food crisis in China driven by farmers' inability to keep up with demand.

Alibaba has supplied chicken farmers in Fujian province with Apple Watch-style bracelets to monitor their birds' health; the devices digitally track how many steps the chickens take each day, with low numbers indicating possible illness.

Meanwhile, researchers in Yunnan province are using artificial intelligence from Pinduoduo to automate strawberry planting.

Rice growers in northern China under the guidance of e-commerce company JD.com have deployed smart sensors that provide real-time data for irrigation.

Peach farmers in Shandong province increased their revenues 50% last year through the use of JD's blockchain technology to encrypt every stage of the planting process.

From Bloomberg
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