JD.com completes first drone delivery outside of China

// JD.com delivered a box of books and backpacks to school children in Indonesia over 250km away
// It ultimately hopes to provide same or next-day delivery to 85% of the country

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JD.com has completed its first ever drone delivery outside of China in Indonesia as the tech giant hopes to service out-of-reach areas.

The Chinese retailer completed the trial delivery earlier this month after securing a “government approved” regional-level operating licence, the first of its kind outside of its home country.

Its drone delivered a box of books and backpacks to school children over 250km away.

For the last two years JD.com has been delivering goods via drones to rural areas in China that would usually be largely inaccessible for large delivery vehicles.

“What we’re looking towards is using technologies to make people’s lives easier,” JD.com’s Dr Hui Cheng told the Retail Gazette last year.

“That is more difficult for people who live in areas where the terrain is really challenging, where vehicle-based delivery is not as economical as it is in big cities.”

It is now seeking to expand this service to Indonesia, the world’s fourth most populated country which consists of over 17,000 individual islands.

JD.com launched its Indonesian operations in 2015, and currently boasts more the 20 million registered users in the country and a catalogue of more than one million products.

It added that its ultimate goal was to reach provide same or next day delivery to 85 per cent of customers.

JD.com’s chief strategy officer Jon Liao added: “We have been using drones for real deliveries in China for over two years now, and have seen the profound impact that the technology can have on people’s lives around the country.”

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