Chinese eCommerce behemoth JD.com plans to expand its drone delivery routes to over 100 by the end of the year. The Chinese company already has around 20 routes currently in service in four selected areas throughout China and has worked closely with the Chinese government to get permission to operate its delivery drones.
As of now, it looks like JD’s drone deliveries will continue to be to rural areas as they are looking to gain more experience before moving to China’s crowded cities. According to JD, packages that qualify for drone delivery are flown to a JD delivery post in the village and then taken by a local employee to the home that ordered the item.
JD has done all of this as Amazon and others are still just getting off the ground. China’s largest eCommerce company Alibaba—which operates the popular sites like Taobao and Tmall—has experimented with drone deliveries, but has not committed to any clear course of action like JD.