Drone Deliveries in China Outpace Anything Amazon is Doing

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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.

War Drones Weekly Roundup (Dec 19th)

War Drones is Drone Dossier’s weekly roundup of new stories related to military drones.

  • China has agreed to return the underwater US drone they seized in intentional waters off the Philippines. Chinese and American officials are working on the details how when and how this will happen. UPDATE: The US Navy confirms China has returned the drone to the US in international waters early Tuesday.
  • A Hamas-linked Tunisian drone export was assassinated last week. The man’s relatives claim he as killed by Mossad due to his work building drones and teaching people to fly them in Palestine.
  • A recent report from Market Forecast projects that worldwide military spending on drones will be $34.6 billion from 2016 to 2022.
  • US Office of Naval Research (ONR) is developing unmanned ‘swarmboats’ which can identify intruding vessels and then swarm around them to attack or prevent entry to coastal waterways and access points.
  • South Korea media is reporting that North Korea is developing long range drones with better capabilities to carry armaments.
  • Northrop is developing a new ship-based combat drone that has better range than carrier-based strike fighters like the F-18 and the brand new F-35. The new TERN drone will have vertical takeoff and landing capability and a range of 600 nautical miles.
  • The British paper ‘The Telegraph is reporting that Iraqi forces trying to liberate the city of Mosul from Islamic State fighters and being harassed and even bombed by ISIS drones.