BingoBox is becoming one of the more vivid examples of how fast innovation is moving in China’s retail industry along with Alibaba’s initiative in unmanned stores powered by their face recognition technology. However, the concept isn’t without its own teething problems. A BingoBox in Shanghai was closed for being too hot and when we tried one ourselves, we found the service had some flaws, such as invalid product tags and no paper receipts, causing customer frustration.

BingoBox (缤果盒子) is an unmanned convenience store that can greet customers 24/7, and requires the customer to have a mobile phone. It’s like the Chinese answer to the Amazon Go unmanned store. In the supply chain, the company has reached a strategic partnership with Auchan Group, one of the top ten retailers in the world, which is in charge of its supply chain to cover BingoBox convenience stores in the East China region and possible global expansion. It’s not completely unmanned: on site, we met an Auchan employee who was restocking the BingoBox.

BingoBox has completed Series A, acquiring more than RMB 100 million ($14 million) in investment led by GGV Capital, followed by Qiming Venture Capital, Source Code Capital, Ventech China and other institutions, our sister site TechNode Chinese reported on July 3rd.

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Eva Yoo

Eva Yoo is Shanghai-based tech writer. Reach her at evayoo@technode.com