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China opens int'l ginseng e-commerce platform

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CHANGCHUN, May 14 (Xinhua) -- China on Wednesday opened an international ginseng business-to-customer (B2C) e-commerce platform to boost sales of the traditional herb internationally.

With investment of 20 million yuan (about 3.2 million U.S. dollars), www.ihealbox.com, is believed to be the world's largest ginseng B2C online platform, according to Teng Hongyan, chairman with the Jilin Provincial National E-commerce Industrial Park, operator of the platform based in Changchun, capital of Jilin Province.

Foreign customers can make purchases using the PayPal payment system, and annual revenue is expected to reach 200 million U.S. dollars.

DHL, UPS and Fedex will provide logistic services in more than 100 countries, she said.

Dubbed "king of herbs", ginseng is considered to be nutritious and to have medicinal value in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). It has been used in TCM for over 3,000 years.

Ginseng is mainly grown in eastern Asia. Considered the world's largest ginseng production base, Changbai Mountain in Jilin produces 85 percent of the country's total output and 70 percent of the world's.

Ginseng-related products available on the website include capsules, powder and coffee. Other herbs, such as ganoderma and edible fungus, are also on sale.

The website, in English, will be further developed with German, French, Russian, Italian, Spanish and traditional Chinese versions, according to Teng.

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