Drone Deliveries Go Global

China introduces rural service, with other countries not far behind.

image: http://thumbs.media.smithsonianmag.com//filer/23/8f/238fc8ed-38cf-4a94-9665-a98cb60ede54/alibaba_drone.png__800x600_q85_crop.jpg

Alibaba drone

A drone from Alibaba, the Chinese equivalent of Amazon, lifts off. (Alibaba.com)

by Ed Darack

Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com just began delivering products by drone to customers outside Beijing and in the provinces of Shaanxi, Sichuan, and Jiangsu. The drone deliveries, which began on Singles’ Day with JD.com’s fleet of 30 Y-6 multirotor aircraft, mark a first for the Beijing region. The Singles’ Day rollout is the latest step in the company’s planned expansion of drone delivery service, possibly nationwide to both rural and urban areas, in the not-too-distant future.

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