On May 30, JD launched the first unmanned convenience supermarket for PLA’s Academy of Armored Forces (陆军装甲并学院). JD and land forces’ logistics unit (陆军后勤部) jointly contribute to the technical support of the supermarket. The business itself will be run by the Academy.

This is not JD’s first move in China’s “military and civil integration (军民融合)” blueprint. With commerce and logistic advantages, the company has actively participated in projects including a contract signed with PLA’s air forces’ logistic unit on October 23, 2017 (in Chinese).

Meanwhile, according to local media (in Chinese), on PLA’s “Military online purchase mall (军队网上采购商城)”, over 60% of the orders are made via JD. The company is now serving over 1,200 military group customers.

JD was also China’s first company that received the airspace permission from the Civil Aviation Administration of China, allowing them to test drone delivery in Shaanxi province. The province is not simply the home of Xi’an, China’s rising municipal and regional tech power, but also home of China’s some major military forces and command units. Xi’an oversees development projects in Northwest China. It is also a crucial geographical part domestically connecting the West, Central, and North, and internationally act as a key part of China’s “Belt and Road” strategy.

Beijing has been stressing civil technology and commercial achievements’ applications in military fields for a while, and logistics is one of the most active parts of the whole blueprint. Apart from the natural importance of supply and speed delivery in military actions, relatively low disclosure risks is another reason for the civil-military logistics boom. SF Express and major delivery companies are also in the game.

According to local media (in Chinese), in May, civil logistics use in regular military operations has seen positive results. With logistics cooperation with Deppon Logistcis (德邦物流), heavy equipment is no longer a problem. The logistics company’s mature delivery infrastructure and services reduced by about 60% the time a regular delivery would normally require.

On the same day, JD also signed a contract with the land forces’ logistics unit, to deepen their collaboration in civil-military strategic cooperation and smart technological means in the land army’s logistics support.

JD did not provide a comment before this article was published

Runhua Zhao

Runhua Zhao is a technology reporter based in Beijing. Connect with her via email: runhuazhao@technode.com

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