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Alibaba Experiments With Drone Deliveries in China

by Jacob Kleinman | February 4, 2015February 4, 2015 9:00 pm PDT

Amazon’s plan to deliver your packages by drone may be going nowhere, but over in China another company is putting those same ideas into action. E-commerce giant Alibaba announced a new drone delivery test program this week in an effort to serve its customers even faster than before.

The three-day pilot is being run through Taoboa, an online marketplace similar to eBay but operated by Alibaba. Starting Feb. 4 (today) through Feb. 6, the site will delivery a specific brand of ginger tea in just one hour using drones. Packages are limited to 340 grams, and the new service is only available in a handful of areas, including parts of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.

Alibaba doesn’t mention any plans to extend the drone delivery service beyond this three-day trial, though we assume the service could expand if it turns out to be a success. Then again, this could just be an attention-grabbing stunt, though either way it looks like Chinese customers will be able to get there tea delivered by drone for at least a few days.

Taobao Tech in Asia

Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...

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