JD.com drones on impressively
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JD.com drones on impressively

JD.com isn’t the first Ecommerce company to suggest using drones to deliver packages. But it is amongst the most serious. The company is currently developing a drone that can deliver packages of up to one metric ton in weight – a feat unthinkable, thus far, for its rivals. JD has been developing drones for some time, but this is by far the most ambitious automated delivery method it’s put forward.

JD.com’s share price has risen an incredible 55%, year-to-date

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SOURCE: Yahoo Finance

The company has already got some of the best drone technology out there. Its drones can deliver packages weighing as much as 30kg, and fly at speeds of 100 km per hour. This didn’t come easily, but it was necessary: the vastness and ongoing urbanization of the Chinese landscape means that deliveries in the country face problems that JD’s western counterparts don’t have to address.

Chen Zhang, the company’s chief technology officer, explained the reasons behind JD’s drone program and the challenges still facing it to CNBC at the Consumer Electronics Show in Asia last week:

"So today, as you have seen in China, e-commerce is huge but in remote villages most people are not benefitting from e-commerce… so to solve that problem we will develop our drone program. The battery cost today is still very high… it is a major issue we need to address. This is a radical industry right? Once the industry has solved the battery issue, we believe at that time our technology will be mature and we can fully operationalize our drone delivery program."

Disclosure

Dominion holds JD.com in its Global Trends Ecommerce Fund.


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