Updated: Unmanned stores could see first big failure as Bianlifeng rumored to be pulling smart shelves from 38 Chinese cities

Bianlifeng (便利蜂), the operator of Chinese staff-less stores and smart vending machines, released a notice to its employees yesterday announcing that they will start pulling out vending machines from 38 cities in China an unnamed employee told Pingtu360. Except for the eight selected cities that they are currently testing the unmanned shelves in and the three other cities they plan to expand into,…

14: Policies that most impacted Chinese internet and the rise of unmanned stores

This week we talk about most impactful internet policies of 2017 and the growing unmanned vertical Links Rita Liao: The 4 policies that most affected China's internet in 2017 Emma Lee: Top 10 Chinese unmanned stores in 2017 Podcast information iTunes RSS feed Music: "Taking the Day Off" by Lee Rosevere, Hold Music Download this episode

Top 10 Chinese unmanned stores in 2017

The announcement of Amazon Go, the cashierless store concept, in late 2016, coincided with a flurry of Chinese tech companies creating their own versions of unmanned stores. For them, 2017 was a fruitful year for developing their solutions tailored to Chinese consumers, as well as in educating the market. What’s more important behind the quick rise is that the market is ready. High smartphone…

Shoplifting isn’t a problem for unmanned stores

Since Amazon envisioned its staff-less store concept last year, shoplifting has been one of the major concerns that people have raised to question the sustainability of this new shopping model. It's natural to speculate that unmanned stores will face more shoplifters due to the absence of shopkeepers, guards, cashiers, or whomever onsite to keep an eye on the behavior of shoppers. But those who…

BingoBox unveils new AI tech for its unmanned stores

BingoBox, China’s unmanned store startup, unveiled today its new AI solution called “Fan AI", a smart goods shelving and new check-out payment method powered by image recognition, facial recognition, and machine learning. BingoBox is a 24-hour self-service convenience store. With a simple smartphone scan, customers are able to enter the store, pick the goods, and pass through check-out with…

Video: We tested one of China’s unmanned stores and this is what we found

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…

China’s unmanned store BingoBox seeks legal identity to open stores

China’s retail industry has seen some innovation this year as BingoBox deploys its unmanned convenience stores in major cities in China. However, two of its stores which were opened in partnership with Auchan and RT-Mart in Shanghai were closed down last month as the cooperation deals ended, local media is reporting. National Business Daily revealed that one of the closed stores was earlier…

JD renews offline effort with new unmanned convenience stores

Unmanned convenience store is one of the hottest buzzwords in China’s tech world since this summer. As a major force in China’s online retailing market, JD is sure not to be left out. Ahead of this year’s Single’s Day, the e-commerce giant has revealed that it is already testing two unmanned smart store models at its Beijing headquarter.  One model, JD’s Unmanned Convenience Store, offers a…

JD’s unmanned store moves into Indonesia in first overseas expansion

Chinese ecommerce giant JD has announced the opening of unmanned store JD.ID X-Mart in Jakarta, Indonesia. The JD.ID X-Mart is said to be the first ever unmanned store in the South East Asian country. This also marks JD's first attempt to bring its unmanned store technology overseas. The new unmanned store sells everything ranging from fashion and apparel to beauty products to fast-moving…

Tencent shows off their vision for the future of unmanned retail

As "new retail" changes from jargon to oft-used phrase, Tencent has thrown their hat into the ring. However, they don't plan on opening their own stores (the WeChat pop-up seems to have been exactly that). Rather they want to be the foundation to help the retail industry achieve two goals: the digital upgrade of stores and the optimization of user experience. "Tencent does not do retail, not…