The United Nations and Alibaba have agreed a deal to increase investment in Chinese ecommerce. Specifically, the arrangement will see the UN allocating around 200 million US dollars to be spent on improving the country's rural ecommerce infrastructure. According to the UN Assistant Secretary-General, the regions expected to be targeted by the initiative include China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, Sichuan and Shaanxi provinces. So far, Alibaba has made efforts with a programme called Rural Taobao to assist people in Chinese villages by providing a platform for women to start their own businesses on, and enable them to sell items online. Currently, more than 30,000 villages have had Taobao platforms set up, with nearly half of new online business owners in these areas being women. The UN and Alibaba hope that the UN's fresh investment will help to grow this number further.