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…

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…

Lenovo catching up new retail trend with launch of a cashier-less store

Image credit: Lenovo Lenovo has launched its first-ever AI-powered cashier-less store, the Lecoo Unmanned Store, in Beijing after four months of pilot operation, our sister site TechNode Chinese is reporting. After a quick registration through WeChat, users can enter the store through facial recognition. No smartphone operations will be needed at the cashier because the charges will be deducted…

China’s going to take a bigger chunk of world’s $110b app economy in 2018: report

In the past decade, the whole world has witnessed how mobile phones and smart devices have revolutionized the way people live and think. As the iPhone, the forerunner of this evolution turned 10 in 2017, Apple's App Store and competing platform Android Market are celebrating their tenth anniversaries in 2018. The decade-long development has brought the app economy to maturity in a number of ways…

What you missed at TechCrunch Shanghai 2017

This week saw TechCrunch land in Shanghai for yet another great event. While Shenzhen might be the hardware capital, Shanghai has a potent mix of hungry entrepreneurs from all over the world. We were delighted to welcome back for the 7th time more than 8000 people including 600 for the hackathons, 300 investors, 200 startups and companies from over 25 countries. If didn’t get a chance to make…

Node Worthy 03: Food delivery and biometric payments

This week we talk about the food delivery industry and how its another proxy battle between Alibaba and Tencent as well as paying with your face. Download this episode Links Timmy Shen: The strategies, tactics, and challenges for China's food delivery industry BingoBox unveils new AI tech for its unmanned stores Masha Borak: Forget QR codes, China's next favorite…

Forget QR codes, China’s next favorite payment method is your face

The launch of Apple’s new iPhone X equipped with tech that turns your face into a poop emoji seems to have left China’s consumers less than impressed. This shouldn’t surprise us—authentication through facial recognition and other biometric features has been gaining traction in China for quite some time. From fighting toilet paper thieves with dispensers equipped with facial recognition to…

China online retail sees rapid growth in the first half of 2017

In June 2017, the total retail sales of consumer goods in China reached RMB 3.9 trillion ($440 billion), up by 11.0% year-on-year, China Internet Watch is reporting. That is approximately the same amount Greece was loaned over a five year period for its bailout ($440 billion), meaning the amount of money Chinese consumer spent on consumer goods for one month equals what Greece spent in five…