(Yicai Global) June 20 -- Chinese e-commerce titan JD.com Inc. [NASDAQ:JD] delivered its first robot express package to China's prestigious Renmin University last weekend, Beijing Evening News reported June 18.
An unmanned white microvan maneuvered around the college campus in Beijing, autonomously avoiding obstacles, pedestrians and traffic on this busy online shopping day.
When the it arrived at a teaching building, Li, a student, went out to meet the 'bot. She had just received her delivery notice via the JD.com app and a mobile phone text message. She input the delivery code to open the automaton's goods compartment, from which she then extracted her package.
JD.com robots now ply delivery routes in other universities, too, such as Tsinghua University, Zhejiang University and Chang'an University. After sufficient data has accumulated for effective analysis, express delivery robot services will extend to encompass other colleges and universities in the second half of this year.
June 18 is a shopping festival JD.com created to mark its anniversary and to compete with the Single's Day shopping fest instituted by its arch-rival Alibaba.com, operated by Alibaba Group Holding Inc. [NYSE:BABA]. The main e-commerce companies engage in various promotional activities to elicit consumer orders, and thus the day gets quite hectic. JD fielded more than 100 million orders during last year's '618' e-consumer festival, chinainternetwatch.com reported.