Guo Baojun, a 58-year-old farmer at Daguolou village of Heze, Shandong province, never thought the smartphone which once blamed for consuming too much time of young people will become his assistant.
"The first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is check my mailbox on the phone and reply to questions villagers leave to me," said Guo, the Party secretary of Daguolou village.
"Most problems like if more trash bins can be set up in the village and when the village road will get repaired can be solved by communicating on the phone and for those we can't solve, we appoint a time for meeting. It makes my work efficient," he said.
Guo's mailbox is set on his village's official account which is supported by the WeCountry project launched by Tencent Holdings Ltd. The WeCountry project offers villages across the country the chance to communicate and publish notices at the village's official account by using WeChat.
In addition to the Party secretary's mailbox where all the registered villagers can leave messages, the village's official account features sections of Party affairs, village affairs and villagers' moments.
Guo said within a year the internet and the WeCountry have changed many people's lives and how the village is run.
To make best use of the WeCountry project, Guo bought a smartphone with which he can access the village's official account at the WeChat. Before the WeCountry project, he used a phone that could only make calls and send messages.
"We use the platform to deal with all kinds of things, including publishing the village's financial affairs and dealing with emergencies. We also publish our agricultural products like onions and yams at the account, which has attracted several wholesalers to come to buy our products," said Guo.
Guojialou is one of the 5,154 villages that have registered at the WeCountry project in Heze, a city that has 5,514 villages in total.
"By using the WeCountry platform, village affairs are managed in more efficient ways, relationships among villagers tend to be more harmonious and the rural economy is seeing faster development," Chen Ping, mayor of Heze, said at a WeCountry conference held on Aug 19 in Heze.
"In the future, we will integrate more functions including legal and technological assistance into the WeCountry platform to make the platform better serve our people," he said.