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…

Beijing to put into service fully unmanned subway line this year

Beijing is expected to put into operation the first domestically-developed unmanned subway line in China this year, according to local media (in Chinese). The Yanfang Line (北京地铁燕房线) will be part of the capital city's subway construction spree, as authorities said they are pressing ahead with the construction of 20 subway lines stretching around 350 kms this year (in Chinese). The line…

Geely invests $55 million in German air taxi startup Volocopter

(Image credit: Volocopter) Chinese automaker Geely has taken a ‎€50 million (around $55 million) stake in German flying taxi startup Volocopter, leading the Series C round in a move which increases its presence in Europe while diversifying its mobility portfolio. Why it matters: Geely, the holding company based in eastern China's Zhejiang Province, already owns Swedish manufacturer Volvo…

Meituan tests delivery robots in Beijing and Shenzhen

(Image credit: Meituan-Dianping) Lifestyle services giant Meituan is testing robot food delivery in Beijing and Shenzhen, as the company seeks to reduce operational costs, the South China Morning Post reported. Why it matters: As labor demands increase, Meituan has been testing automated service robots in a bid to support growth and increase efficiency while controlling costs. The company…

Shanghai sets up RMB 500 million fund to attract drone makers to the city

Shanghai has formed a RMB 500 million ($70 million) fund to boost its drone industry and lure drone makers to the city with subsidies and preferential policies. Why it matters: Shanghai aims to become a global tech powerhouse. The city has already laid out plans to become an artificial intelligence hub and has set its sights on becoming a world "e-sports capital." Home to DJI, the world's…

Meituan starts recruitment drive for mapping services

Screenshots showing a list of engineering positions for map services posted by Meituan on a Chinese online recruitment platform (Image credit: TechNode) Meituan Dianping has started hiring for its new mapping and navigation services unit, a move that could help the services giant to increase its presence in ride-hailing and unmanned deliveries. Why it matters: Mapping has become…

Net profit at Suning.com tumbled nearly two-thirds in first half

Suning's unmanned store (Image Credit: TechNode) Net revenue at Suning.com slid by nearly two-thirds in the first six months despite a 21.6% rise in operating income, according to the Chinese online retailer's mid-year report released on Tuesday. Why it matters: Suning.com’s result is in line with expectations and is indicative of the lackluster consumer market in China this year. As a…

China Tech Talk 81: The new new retail with Michael Norris

China Tech Talk is an almost weekly discussion of the most important issues in China’s tech. From IPOs to fake data, from the role of WeChat to Apple’s waning influence, hosts John Artman and Matthew Brennan interview experts and discuss the trends shaping China’s tech industry. Make sure you don’t miss anything. Check out our lineup of China tech podcasts.   Can’t see the…

Alibaba experiments with behavior modification

Keep this chicken fed by using the Alibaba ecosystem. (Image credit: Trivium/Kendra Schaefer) Four years ago, in a move designed to explore the viability of new offline sales models, Alibaba ran a little experiment. Two of its financial service offerings, Alipay digital wallet and its onboard credit scoring platform Sesame Credit, cooperated in the launch of two unmanned supermarkets. The…