Armless Chinese man starts e-business with his feet

Starting up an e-business is no longer a big deal in China. For many people, transactions can be done with only a few mouse clicks.

However, for an armless young man in a remote rural area of central China’s Hubei Province, even a mouse click used to be a huge challenge.

“I rarely smiled when I was little. Back then I felt discrimination. Honestly, I don’t even know how I got through that period.”

Before the age of 18, Chen Zifang was taken good care of by his mother. He could have continued to be dependent on her but he chose not to.

Being able to get dressed without help marked the beginning of Zifang’s self-supporting.

Chopping firewood, doing the laundry, cooking and herding sheep, Zifang pushes his limit day by day.

“I tackled one difficulty after another and never stopped there. I kept confronting new problems and challenges, the biggest of which is actually myself. Once I came to realize that, I was able to find a way to conquer it.”

As the internet access gets cheaper, Zifang practiced using the mobile phone with his feet. He then learned more herding tactics online, expanding his flock from 1 sheep to 35 sheep within four years.

“The Internet first taught me how to herd sheep. Then I sold the sheep and thought about launching a business online with my fellow folks, like selling our local specialties, so that we can make our fortune.”

And his dream came true. With the help of the local government and other people, Zifang opened a shop selling local specialties, including oranges and eggs.

Shortly afterwards, he brought the brick-and-mortar store online.

“Opening up an online shop is surely a turning point in my life. This is an internet era. Herding sheep and chopping firewood can only keep the pot boiling. But the internet has created a new and better Chen Zifang.”

Now in his late 20s, Chen Zifang says the online store not only allows him to earn a living, but also helps him find a purpose in life, and, as the business grows, he could finally pay back his mothers who raised him up.

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