Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com sets challenge to Amazon with first ‘robotic shops’ in Europe

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  • Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com has opened two retail stores in the Netherlands that are said to have robots to prepare and deliver packages.
  • Ochama branded “robotic shops” marked JD.com’s first foray into Europe with bricks and mortar locations. It highlights the ambitions of the Chinese giant to expand beyond China.
  • JD.com’s foray into Europe marks the beginning of a potential challenge for US e-commerce giant Amazon.

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Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com has opened two retail stores in the Netherlands that are said to have robots to prepare and deliver packages.

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The Ochama branded “robotic shops” are located in the cities of Leiden and Rotterdam and are JD.com’s first foray into Europe with bricks-and-mortar locations. It highlights the ambitions of the Chinese giant to expand beyond China.

JD.com said shoppers can use the Ochama app to order products ranging from food to beauty and home goods. They can then go to the store where automated vehicles and robotic arms will pick up and sort orders. When a buyer visits a store, they can scan a barcode on their app and their orders will be delivered to them via a conveyor belt.

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Orders can also be placed.

JD.com’s foray into Europe marks the beginning of a potential challenge for US e-commerce giant Amazon, which has launched its cashierless grocery store called Amazon Go in the US and UK.

The Chinese e-commerce company said it plans to open two more stores in the cities of Amsterdam and Utrecht in the Netherlands.

Ochama stores are JD.com’s focus on logistics and e-commerce. In China, the company operates its logistics arm and it plans to expand internationally as well. JD.com also operates a huge e-commerce business in the world’s second largest economy.

JD.com still generates most of its revenue from China but in recent years, it has expanded its presence overseas. The company operates an online shopping site called Joybuy.com for international customers. It has an e-commerce joint venture in Thailand and is also the largest shareholder of Vietnamese shopping platform Tiki.

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