Alibaba and JD launch logistics solutions to help coronavirus response
Chinese online e-commerce giants Alibaba and JD have both introduced logistics solutions for medical personnel working to arrest the spread of coronavirus in China.
Alibaba has launched a global B2B sourcing platform to connect medical goods suppliers with frontline staff fighting the virus, while JD has been making preparations for drone delivery of medical supplies in China as it tests the use of its autonomous delivery robots in Wuhan.
The Alibaba Global Direct Sourcing Platform will allow Alibaba to use an RMB1 billion (US$143.46 million) fund established shortly after Wuhan city was quarantined to fight the spread of the outbreak. The fund’s purpose is to purchase vital medical supplies within and outside China to support medical personnel in Wuhan and other places affected by the virus.
The platform will match needed medical supplies with products offered by vendors. Goods purchased through the platform will go to hospitals based on urgency and priority.
JD is concurrently turning to advanced technology to reduce human to human contact during the coronavirus while ensuring normal operations of its logistics facilities and last-mile delivery.
JD says its automated warehouses are working 24/7 to meet the demand for daily necessities as online shopping is believed to be the safest way to get goods while remaining protected from the coronavirus. The number of daily orders processed by these automated warehouses has increased from 600,000 to 1 million on average between January 24 and February 2.
JD’s unmanned convenience store solution JDX Mart is also offering consumers in Guilin, Shenzhen and Dongguan a seamless and contactless way to get their everyday convenience store products while reducing the risk of infection.