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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 […]

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China’s answer to Amazon Go aims to conquer the unmanned frontier with facial recognition

Long-waited Amazon Go opened its door to the public in Seattle last week and there has been overall positive feedback. However, unmanned stores are definitely not a new concept for China’s tech-savvy consumers. Since May 2017, when Alibaba launched its first unmanned store with the focus word “new retail”, a flurry of Chinese tech companies has […]

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Understanding China’s unmanned (r)evolution: China cares less about user experience than you think

While Amazon Go has been stealing headlines since it was revealed last year, we here at TechNode have been covering China’s increasing commitment to unmanned stores for about just as long. But, how exactly are China’s stores different and why are the technological and business models different from Amazon Go? First is speed: After announcing […]