China’s largest online retailer JD.com announced on Monday that it will build a drones network for the long-distance transport of payloads up to a ton of weight.
According to Bloomberg, JD.com will first run a test run in the Northwest China province of Shanxi: a drones network to transport goods to remote areas and agricultural products in cities.
The test network is supposed to cover an area of 300 kilometers radius, and drones stations are to be set up throughout the province. At the Xi’an National Civil Aerospace Industrial Base, a development and production site for the heavy load drones is being developed.
JD.com already operates a China-wide network of thousands of transport stations with 65,000 employees. According to company data, 236 million customers regularly use the service. The company’s revenue grew by 41.2 percent in the first quarter of 2017 compared to the same quarter last year. The loss of 864.9 million yuan (111.6 million euros) in the previous year amounted to 843.1 million yuan (108.8 million euros) in the last financial year (financial reports).