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Alibaba Begins Drone Delivery Test Program In China

Alibaba Begins Drone Delivery Test Program In China
[Photo: PETER ENDIG/dpa/Corbis]

By far the most memorable moment of Jeff Bezos’s 60 Minutes interview in December 2013 was his announcement that Amazon was working on an ambitious new delivery scheme that would see autonomous drones drop off your Amazon packages.

At the time, Bezos said the technology was around “four or five years” away. The plans are now delayed as a result of trouble securing the necessary regulatory approval from the Federal Aviation Administration.

In the meantime, someone else has swooped in and executed Amazon’s drone delivery concept—although the selection of items you can order is strangely limited.

That company is China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba: in many ways the Chinese Amazon. Alibaba is currently in the testing phase of drone delivery, in association with the company Shanghai YTO Express. Running from February 4-6, the test phase will offer 450 lucky customers the chance to get ginger tea delivered straight to their door within an hour.

Customers must live within a certain radius of specific distribution sites in Guangzhou, Beijing, and Shanghai. And also presumably like ginger tea, too.

[via Gizmodo]

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