As China ramped up its efforts to counter the spread of Covid-19, delivery robots have garnered newfound attention.

Beijing has since pledged to increase its support to upgrade the nation’s freight delivery systems. The government also asked companies for solutions to contain the virus, including various forms of “contactless shopping deliveries,” as people around the country became afraid to leave their homes.

At this moment of crisis, some businesses saw opportunities for largely unproven technologies. In an effort to protect the public, lifestyle services giant Meituan and e-commerce firm JD.com started using their unmanned delivery technologies in some of the worst-hit areas.

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Jill Shen

Jill Shen is Shanghai-based technology reporter. She covers Chinese mobility, autonomous vehicles, and electric cars. Connect with her via e-mail: jill.shen@technode.com or Twitter: @yushan_shen

Chris Udemans

Christopher Udemans is a Shanghai-based data and graphics reporter. He covers Chinese artificial intelligence, mobility, and cybersecurity. You can contact him at chrisudemans [at] technode [dot] com.