What happened: The Xi’an-based drone delivery unit of JD.com has received a license from CAAC Northwest Regional Administration, becoming the country’s first company to operate drones for logistics on a provincial level. The company has been piloting in the region since February this year.
Why it’s important: Delivery drones have felt like they’re on the cusp of arriving for years, but despite a lot of companies engaged in the sector, we have yet to see a wider application of the device. The news marks a major step for the country to boost the further development of the industry in terms of standards and scale. In addition to JD, several companies like Alibaba’s Cainiao and SF Express are also trying to explore the sector.