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…

China voices | Tell-all paints firm as Theranos of autonomous vehicles

(Image credit: Bigstock/Ronedya) This week features an anonymous employee playing whistleblower on his former self-driving car startup. This engineer writes that he initially was lured in by a charismatic founder who sold him a story of building a company to help the nation develop and fight back against American bullying. But eventually, he came to see his boss as nothing more than a scam…

Meituan developing fully automated warehouse to power ‘flash delivery’

Meituan's unmanned warehouse. (Image credit: Meituan) Meituan, the Tencent-backed food delivery and lifestyle services platform, is testing a fully automated warehouse for order fulfillment service, it said on Monday. The initiative will help the company optimize delivery times as retailers push forward into smart warehousing, an area of technological development poised for growth in the…

Briefing: Ant Financial planning fintech innovation center in Xiong’an New Area

用奋斗助力数字智能城市建设 - 河北新闻网 What happened: Ant Financial is planning to build a fintech innovation center in the Xiong'an New Area, said Ren Haixia, head of Alibaba's Xiong'an project, though she did not reveal a specific timeline for the launch. The company has rolled out a blockchain-based home rental platform, which is part of the larger plan for the innovation center. An Ant Financial spokesman…

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…