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China e-commerce giant to build world's first drone delivery network

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-02-22 18:49
XI'AN -- E-commerce giant JD.com has teamed up with the government of Northwest China's Shaanxi province to build the world's first drone delivery network.

An air base will be built for large- and medium-sized drones that can deliver multiple tonnes of cargo to a range of over 300 kilometers, according to a strategic cooperation agreement signed here Tuesday.

Serving the whole province, it will be the world's first aviation logistics network for low-altitude unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) on a large scale.

Many global logistics giants including Amazon and DHL have tried unmanned planes, but most tests were on a small scale and within a short range.

Shaanxi, the start of the ancient Silk Road, is in the process of reinventing itself as one of northwestern China's key logistics centers.

The new drone service will boost regional growth and improve delivery services across rural Shaanxi.

It is expected that the network will create more than 10,000 jobs and attract enterprises with a combined turnover of more than 100 billion yuan when the network took shape in 2020.

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