JD Daojia downsizes unmanned shelf project

(Image credit: JD Daojia) JD.com's online-to-offline (O2O) grocery platform JD Daojia has downsized its unmanned shelf project “Go” to focus on the company's online grocery and delivery businesses amid slowing growth in the industry. Daojia's "smart vending machines" were previously installed in office buildings in 10 cities across China, including Beijing, Shanghai, and Chengdu. It's been a…

Alibaba checks in to unmanned hotel market

Alibaba has launched an unmanned hotel in its hometown of Hangzhou, marking the company's entrance into consumer-driven internet of things (IOT) sector. Known as FlyZoo, the hotel's operation relies on smart interactive technologies particularly facial recognition. A one-meter high robot will serve as a receptionist that can remember a guests by using facial recognition technology. The hotel…

Briefing: SF Express’ commercial unmanned aerial vehicle completes first flight trial

航天电子与顺丰控股联合研制的大商载远程无人运输机系统首飞成功 - Shanghai Securities News What happened: Express delivery and logistics giant SF Express and Shanghai-listed space tech company China Aerospace Times Electronics successfully tested their jointly-developed commercial unmanned aerial vehicle Feihong 98. With a capacity of 1.5 tons, the vehicle was designed to complete delivery tasks in rural areas, mountainous…

JD’s unmanned store moves into Indonesia in first overseas expansion

Chinese ecommerce giant JD has announced the opening of unmanned store JD.ID X-Mart in Jakarta, Indonesia. The JD.ID X-Mart is said to be the first ever unmanned store in the South East Asian country. This also marks JD's first attempt to bring its unmanned store technology overseas. The new unmanned store sells everything ranging from fashion and apparel to beauty products to fast-moving…

JD deepens relationship with China’s military with first unmanned supermarket for PLA’s Academy of Armored Forces

On May 30, JD launched the first unmanned convenience supermarket for PLA’s Academy of Armored Forces (陆军装甲并学院). JD and land forces’ logistics unit (陆军后勤部) jointly contribute to the technical support of the supermarket. The business itself will be run by the Academy. This is not JD’s first move in China’s “military and civil integration (军民融合)” blueprint. With commerce and logistic advantages,…

Tencent shows off their vision for the future of unmanned retail

As "new retail" changes from jargon to oft-used phrase, Tencent has thrown their hat into the ring. However, they don't plan on opening their own stores (the WeChat pop-up seems to have been exactly that). Rather they want to be the foundation to help the retail industry achieve two goals: the digital upgrade of stores and the optimization of user experience. "Tencent does not do retail, not…

Updated: Unmanned stores could see first big failure as Bianlifeng rumored to be pulling smart shelves from 38 Chinese cities

Bianlifeng (便利蜂), the operator of Chinese staff-less stores and smart vending machines, released a notice to its employees yesterday announcing that they will start pulling out vending machines from 38 cities in China an unnamed employee told Pingtu360. Except for the eight selected cities that they are currently testing the unmanned shelves in and the three other cities they plan to expand into,…

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…