JD.com and Rakuten partner for autonomous delivery services in Japan

China’s largest retailer, JD.com, has announced a partnership with leading Japanese electronic commerce and internet services firm Rakuten to bring the former’s drones to the latter’s unmanned delivery solutions.

In its press release, JD.com said the deal with leverage its expertise in the development of drones and delivery robots with Rakuten’s own strengths in drone delivery service operations and its network of robust, dedicated shopping apps.

“We are delighted to begin this collaboration with JD.com, which boasts the most cutting-edge proprietary delivery network in China as well as a track record and know-how in delivery with drones and UGVs,” said Koji Ando, Group Managing Executive Officer at Rakuten, in JD.com’s press release.

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“By utilizing JD.com’s drones and UGVs with the unmanned delivery solutions created by Rakuten, we hope to accelerate innovation in the Japanese logistics sector and contribute to building a society that can offer greater convenience to all citizens.”

Jun Xiao, President of JD.com’s logistics innovation lab, JD-X, added:

“In Japan there are many opportunities for drones to make deliveries in mountainous areas, remote islands and in emergency situations. 

“As we push the bounds of what our autonomous delivery technology can do, and explore its use in a wide range of applications from e-commerce to humanitarian support, we believe it will continue to bring significant benefit to people around the world.”

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