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Online retailing behemoths of China and Rakuten of Japan have made a deal to combine their resources for unmanned parcel delivery operations.’s expertise in drones and delivery robots will be used as part of Rakuten’s automated delivery solutions in Japan.

“We are delighted to begin this collaboration with, which boasts the most cutting-edge proprietary delivery network in China as well as a track record and know-how in delivery with drones and UGVs [unmanned ground vehicles],” said Koji Ando, group managing executive officer of Rakuten.

“By utilizing’s drones and UGVs with the unmanned delivery solutions created by Rakuten, we hope to accelerate innovation in the Japanese logistics sector and contribute to building a society that can offer greater convenience to all citizens.”

Rakuten’s drone service was first launched in 2016. It conducted its first delivery with drones and autonomous delivery robots combined in 2018.’s drone programme began in 2015 and it made its first commercial deliveries in 2016.

Source: Parcel and Postal Technology International

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