The browser you are using is not supported by this website. All versions of Internet Explorer are no longer supported, either by us or Microsoft (read more here:

Please use a modern browser to fully experience our website, such as the newest versions of Edge, Chrome, Firefox or Safari etc.

Nicholas Loubere Profile Picture

Nicholas Loubere

Senior lecturer

Nicholas Loubere Profile Picture

Digitally Down to the Countryside : Fintech and Rural Development in China


  • Sherry Tao Kong
  • Nicholas Loubere

Summary, in English

Digital finance has changed the landscape of financial service provision worldwide. China in particular, with a booming fintech sector and large numbers of users, is at the forefront of the expansion of digital financial services. As such, the country has become an important case for better understanding how fintech operates and what its expansion entails for socioeconomic development. This paper focuses on the provision of new models of digital finance in rural China by two Internet giants – JD and Alibaba. Against the backdrop of decades of generally unsuccessful attempts to expand financial coverage in rural areas by conventional bricks-and-mortar financial institutions, these two rural fintech models have the potential to expand digital financial service provision in new ways. This paper critically examines these fintech models, contextualises them within the broader trajectory of pushes to expand digital financial inclusion worldwide, considers the parallels with agricultural supplier contracting systems elsewhere, and explores the potential benefits and risks that they pose for rural development and rural livelihoods in China and elsewhere.


  • Centre for East and South-East Asian Studies, Lund University

Publishing year





Journal of Development Studies

Document type

Journal article


Taylor & Francis


  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary


  • China
  • Rural development
  • fintech




  • ISSN: 0022-0388