The Chinese government is working with Tencent on a mobile game as part of its strategy to eradicate absolute poverty in the country by 2020.
As reported by Xinhuanet, the Ministry of Finance’s poverty reduction office has partnered with messaging platform WeChat on a farming game in which players grow and sell their own products.
By selling the in-game goods, users can earn credits that can be used to obtain money off real-world goods such as rice and fruits.
The first regions testing out the game and exchange options are Yongsheng County in Yunnan Province, Pingjiang County in Hunan Province and Fenxi County in Shanxi Province.
According to the report, the number of people in poverty in rural areas fell to 16.6 million last year, down from 98.99m in 2012.
The Chinese government has defined poverty as earning less than $416 (2,800 yuan) a year, or around $1.10 a day.
As of October 2015, The World Bank set a global line for poverty to $1.90 a day. Prior to that, from 2008 to 2015 the poverty line was considered as $1.25 a day.
It should be noted however that, as The World Bank points out, “the real value of $1.90 in today’s prices is the same as $1.25 was in 2005”.
In 1990, there were said to be 750 million people living in poverty in China, a figure that has been reduced dramatically, albeit defined by the poverty line as set out by the Chinese government.