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Mainland e-commerce giant is turning its attention to Hong Kong hinting at plans for unstaffed stores and other innovations.

In an interview with the South China Morning Post, senior business development manager Ben Chuk revealed few details, but said drone deliveries were under consideration.

The second largest e-commerce platform in Mainland China, behind Alibaba, is investing in partnerships with brick-and-mortar stores and tech companies as it tries to stay in pace with its rival.

To date, neither company has focused heavily on Hong Kong, where online shopping accounts for a negligible share of total retail sales compared with the mainland.

“As transforms itself beyond an e-commerce platform, we will start opening our smart retail technologies to Hong Kong clients, especially to bigger corporations and close partners,” Chuk told the SCMP.

“For instance, unstaffed convenience stores that have already been in operation in the mainland – we are exploring the possibility to partner with Hong Kong brands in setting up such stores.”

The company is also looking for ways to engage with existing Hong Kong retailers to get their products online for sale to mainland customers.

Among those already signed up include Dairy Farm International food and beverage subsidiary Maxim’s and beauty retailer Sa Sa International.

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