Fighting the plague of plastic materials
The concept, which mirrors plans earlier announced by Tesla Motors founder Elon Musk to build subterranean tunnels for freight transport, is the latest ambitious project from JD.com, which is
already operating a string of unmanned convenience stores; fleets of outdoor, autonomous delivery robots; and a fully automated warehouse.
Just last week, JD.com announced plans to introduce ‘green boxes’ made of recycled plastic materials to combat the excessive use by e-commerce companies of packaging materials in their shipments
to customers. The reusable green boxes can be used about 10 times for small- and medium-sized parcel orders.
JD.com said its reusable packaging programme will be introduced in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Chengdu. It plans to add another five cities to the network by the end of October and
10 more between November and the end of the year.

One million convenience stores targeted
Meanwhile, China’s second-largest e-commerce company will increase efforts to diversify its revenue streams as its domestic online retail sales growth slows, a report by Nikkei said.
Apart from launching an online storefront in the U.S. following on the heels of its official launch in Thailand, JD.com is also pushing forward with a plan to open 1 million convenience stores in
its home market by 2021. Near-term the company’s target is to open 1,000 convenience stores a day by year-end, a spokesman was quoted as saying in April. According to local press reports, the
company this month recruited five executives from 7-Eleven to assist with the launch of a minimart chain. JD.com declined to comment on that report.

Nol van Fenema

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