China’s online retailing giant JD.com plans to roll out for delivery through drones in rural China.
The company said the drones will not deliver packages directly to shoppers but will instead help transport bundles of items from its distribution stations to 150,000 representatives mobilised across rural China who will then get them to shoppers.
The distance between distribution stations to rural representatives, usually less than 10 km according to JD, are more fixed for engineers to design drone itineraries and landing points. Representatives will be notified in advance to wait for drones to land with packages, Xinhua news agency reported.
JD.com’s CEO Richard Liu Qiangdong had said last year that the company is developing drone delivery to meet the rising retail demand in China’s rural areas, where complex terrain and underdeveloped infrastructure have compromised timely human courier delivery.