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…

Briefing: JD.com ups alliance with $54 million investment in Xinning Logistics

京东物流3.76亿投新宁物流 计划管控超200万车 - Sina Tech What happened: JD Logistics, the logistics arm of Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com, has invested RMB 376 million (around $54 million) in Xinning Logistics, a supply chain logistics service provider listed on China’s A-stock market that it inked a strategic partnership with in October. The two companies plan to include more than 2 million vehicles in their…

Why JD is tripping up in new retail race

Entrance to a JD unmanned convenience store. (Image credit: Michael Norris) JD, China’s largest retailer and second largest e-commerce company, had a tough 2018. Its stock plunged about 50% on concerns about slow economic growth, rising competition, shrinking profits, and a rape allegation against founder and CEO Richard Liu. Adding insult to injury, Pinduoduo, an e-commerce upstart focused on…

Briefing: JD partners with Rakuten to take its drones to Japan

JD.com’s drones take flight to Japan in partnership with Rakuten - TechCrunch What happened: Chinese online retailer JD.com has announced a partnership with Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten, which will deploy the Chinese e-commerce giant's drone delivery and unmanned vehicle service in Japan. Rakuten has over 20 years of experience with commerce and IT in Japan and launched a drone delivery…

Shenyang aviation base becomes the first in China’s northeast to have 5G

The first 5G-enabled aviation base in northeast China has been launched in Shenyang, the capital of northeastern Chinese province of Liaoning, amid China's push to become the world leader in 5G. According to Chinese media, Shenyang's Faku mixed-use Aviation Base has installed a 5G base station and completed test flights with drones on Tuesday. The base station was built by the Liaoning branch of…

China’s service robot market size jumps 44% to $1.8 billion

China’s service robots market hit $1.84 billion according to an article published today on the 21st Century Business Herald. This marks a nearly 44% year-on-year increase, which is higher than the global average rate of change. Traditional sectors are turning to automation to increase efficiency and slash labor costs, key among them the medical and education industries. The food service and…

Suning acquires 37 Wanda stores to speed up new retail expansion

Image credit: Suning.com Chinese online retailer Suning.com has acquired 37 outlets of Wanda Department Store, the department store unit of Chinese conglomerate Wanda Group, chairman Zhang Jindong announced at the company’s Lunar New Year meeting held Tuesday. The company didn't reveal the value of the deal. The 37 stores are mainly located in central business districts or central areas of…

Mapping out the road ahead for China’s autonomous vehicles

(Image credit: BigStock/Akarat Phasura) Shanghai taxi driver Yuan Wei isn’t concerned about being replaced by autonomous vehicles (AVs). “No one will be able to afford an unmanned car,” he says. “It must be expensive. Maybe RMB 1 million (around $150,000) or RMB 2 million.” Yuan may be right about the price of a driverless car—at least given today's technology—but the threat to his livelihood…

Mobike to rebrand as Meituan Bike, fully integrate into Meituan’s app

Chinese bike-rental company Mobike will rebrand as Meituan Bike as it abandons its standalone app to be included in internet giant Meituan's platform as an in-app feature. The Chinese bike-rental firm will also become a distinct business group within the lifestyle services company. Wang Huiwen, Meituan’s senior vice president and co-founder, made the announcement in an internal memo to employees…