Tencent and other big Chinese tech firms are often victims of biased journalism. Photo: AFP

The Chinese government and Tencent have developed an online game as part of a poverty reduction campaign that is aimed at the country’s huge online population, Xinhua reported.

The poverty reduction office, under the Ministry of Finance, and Tencent’s instant messaging platform WeChat, have developed a mobile game, set in farmland in several poverty-stricken counties, that allows players to grow and sell agricultural products.

Through the sales of the virtual products they have grown, players can earn credits on the platform which can then be used as discount coupons on an e-commerce outlet for purchases of real goods such as rice and fruits produced by local farmers.

Yongsheng County in Yunnan Province, Pingjiang County in Hunan Province and Fenxi County in Shanxi Province are among the first regions on the game’s virtual map.

As China’s fight against poverty enters a new phase that focuses on targeted solutions, the government has been seeking innovative ways to make the efforts more effective.

In 2018, China lifted 13.86 million people in rural areas out of poverty, with the number of impoverished rural residents dropping from 98.99 million in late 2012 to 16.6 million by the end of last year.

China has vowed to eradicate poverty by 2020.

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