Alibaba Group: Rural Taobao, robotic restaurant and unmanned wine shop

Date : 28 June 2018

With so much going on in the ecommerce and technology space in China, we've selected the top news from Alibaba Group this week.

Alibaba Group's Rural Taobao to expand to 1,000 counties

Rural Taobao is one of Alibaba’s three main strategic projects besides globalisation and cloud computing. It aims to improve the living conditions of China’s rural regions by providing high quality products and logistics solutions.

Launched in October 2014, the initiative currently covers 700 counties with over 30,000  service centres. The plan is to expand its coverage to 1,000 counties and 150,000 villages across China in the next three years. As part of the project, Alibaba has recently opened a number of  'Taobao Select Service Stations', where villagers can purchase food, clothes and electronic items, at a physical location, without having to place the orders online.

On collaboration with brands, Bill Wang, vice president of Alibaba Group and general manager of Rural Taobao, said that by sharing insightful analytics about customer preferences and market trends, companies can develop products or craft marketing campaigns tailed to rural consumers.

Robotic waiters at Hema Restaurant

A Hema Fresh store has just launched a restaurant Robot.He, where robots are serving the dishes to its customers. Shoppers can shop for fresh ingredients in the supermarket area, and the ingredients will be brought to the kitchen via its conveyor belt system. A robot will then bring the dish to the table when its' ready.

Alibaba's first unmanned wine shop

Shoppers in Hangzhou, Where Alibaba Group has its headquarter, can now buy wine in this fully automated unstaffed store. If shoppers need further product information in the store, they can simply pick up a bottle, and the information will be displayed on a screen. Payments are automatically made through Alibaba’s Alipay payment platform. 

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