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Drones capable of carrying 1-ton cargo part of JD.com’s grand project

Staff Writer |
Drones capable of carrying more than a ton of goods to long-distance deliveries are part of plans by one of China’s biggest online retailers to develop a massive logistics network covering remote locations.

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JD.com is the main competitor of Alibaba in Chinese e-commerce, albeit with a different business model.

While Alibaba serves as a marketplace for producers, JD.com operates similarly to Amazon, selling goods directly through its logistic network.

JD.com is soon to be expanded, having reached an agreement with the authorities in the northern Chinese province of Shaanxi, where it plans to test a network of low-altitude drone deliveries.

The network would span a 300km radius and include hundreds of routes and drone bases, the company said Monday in a statement.

It plans to introduce heavy-duty UAVs (drones) capable of delivering payloads weighing over 1 ton to take goods to remote villages and agriculture produce back to cities.

“JD.com will be the first in the world to test drone delivery on this scale. We envision a network that will be able to efficiently transport goods between cities, and even between provinces, in the future,” said Wang Zhenhui, CEO of JD Logistics, the company’s logistics business group formed in April.


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