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Internet integrates disabled into society

Source: China Daily Global Updated: 2019-07-18

HANGZHOU - Living with disabilities, Guo Hui never expected that a job on the internet, which he took up by chance, would help him get his life back on track.

In 2004, he was involved in a liquid gas container explosion that burned 95 percent of his body and damaged eight of his fingers.

At that time, it was seemingly impossible for him to earn a living. But now, using his two fingers, Guo manages to earn about 5,000 yuan ($730) a month by working as an online customer service staff.

The internet has brought new hope to Guo's life. Having saved money over the past two years, Guo is now able to afford podiatric surgery in Beijing.

"I am proud that now I can support myself and I'm sure that my life will get better," he says.

Guo is not an exception.

There are more than 1,000 disabled people working as online customer service staff nationwide.

As of October 2018, a total of 6,405 disabled people were employed in similar online positions, according to the China Disabled Persons' Federation.

The internet's role in empowering people with disabilities was highlighted in a guideline issued jointly by the CDPF and other ministries in February 2018. And the guideline has provided strong support for disabled people who use the internet to get jobs or start a business.

Statistics from the CDPF and Alibaba show that on Taobao, China's largest online shopping website, 174,100 online stores, selling about 11.66 billion yuan of goods from June 2018 to May 2019, are run by disabled people. Among them, 21,800 shops each succeeded in reaching over 30,000 yuan in sales in May 2019.

China's internet industry is also striving to integrate disabled people into working in the internet environment more conveniently.

"Internet Plus helping disabled people" and "barrier-free internet environment" are two themes internet companies have focused on in recent years.

To this end, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has set up an information accessibility technician group to help disabled people enjoy the services of its platform. Over 17,000 visually-impaired people have run online shops on Taobao and some 597,000 visually-impaired people have experienced the convenience brought by online shopping.

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