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Alibaba-Rival JD Envisions its Own Delivery Drone Fleet by 2017

  • The online retailer wants drones to ply 100 routes next year
  • Aerial deliveries may be the solution for remote locales
A JD.Com drone during a trial delivery.

A JD.Com drone during a trial delivery.

Source: JD.Com

From Amazon.com Inc. to Domino’s Pizza, technology giants and retailers have dreamed of drone deliveries for years. One Chinese e-commerce giant intends to make it a full-fledged reality by 2017.

JD.com Inc. has drawn up plans for drones to ply 100 regular routes by the end of next year. Taking advantage of less-restrictive regulations, it’s spent months testing its drones and from Friday -- the same day as China’s annual 24-hour online shopathon -- it intends to start operating four routes delivering packages to rural residents on a trial basis.