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 the project, the Amazon Go store did not actually open…

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 created their own versions of unmanned stores with…

Chengdu’s  first unmanned supermarket closes down after 4 months

Chengdu’s first unmanned supermarket GOGO无人超市 has reportedly shut down after only four months according to local reports (in Chinese). The unmanned shelf project, GOGO小超, run by the same Chengdu-based startup, Xiao Mang Guo Technology Limited, closed down months ago. At least 30 employees have not been paid on time; one former employee told the Chengdu Business Daily that they hadn't received a…

Huawei goes into unmanned driving with BYD’s monorail

Chinese IT equipment and smartphone manufacturer Huawei announced that it will join hands with local automaker BYD to produce the world’s first eLTE unmanned driving system for BYD’s monorail, local media has reported. BYD's monorail, known as SkyRail, went into operation in September 2017 in the city of Yinchuan and has already made an international leap to the Philippines. The company, which…

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…

Unmanned AI police station to open in Wuhan

Editor’s note: This article originally appeared on Radii, a new media platform covering culture, innovation, and life in today’s China. Today in creepy future news: as if visiting police stations in China wasn’t already intense enough, one such station in Wuhan is planning to create the world’s first AI-enhanced cop shop. Financial paper Caijing Neican reports (link in Chinese): Police stations…

Suning’s big data-driven unmanned store opens in Shanghai

Chinese electronics retailer Suning opened its second unmanned store equipping full face recognition payment system in Shanghai on November 6th, Chinese media The Paper is reporting. Unmanned stores are spreading all over China, and Shanghai is becoming an important base to test the market with Shanghai's affluent and trendy consumers. In Shanghai, unmanned convenience store BingoBox opened this…

Unmanned noodle shops in Shanghai shut down for most traditional of reasons

Unmanned noodle shops in central Shanghai were shut down soon after going into operation due to the most old-fashioned reason: bureaucracy. They had an operating license, but the wrong sort. The Lu Dou Jiqiren Yidong Mianguan branded shops (卤豆移动面馆 or "Stewed Bean Robot Mobile Noodle Shop"), effectively noodle vending machines installed on streets and in shopping centers in Shanghai's Xuhui…