This article originally appeared on ABACUS It looks like efforts from China’s ecommerce platforms to get rural merchants selling online have been working. The number of ecommerce merchants in China’s rural areas reached 13 million in the first quarter this year, according to state broadcaster CCTV . China’s biggest ecommerce sites, including Taobao, JD.com and Pinduoduo, have all launched their own programs to help farmers sell fresh produce online during the pandemic. Pinduoduo saw more than 1 billion orders of farm products from rural merchants in the first quarter, a 184% increase from the same period last year. The report says that during the pandemic, state-run companies dedicated to rural ecommerce such as China Co-op Group also played a part in distributing farm products, especially those in Hubei province, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak. (Abacus is a unit of the South China Morning Post, which is owned by Alibaba, the operator of Taobao.) The CCTV report cites data from the Joint Prevention and Control Mechanism of the State Council, which was established early in the coronavirus outbreak reportedly to allocate resources nationwide. So there isn’t any data on how many rural ecommerce merchants there were before the pandemic.