Alibaba Beats Amazon to Drone Delivery

PHOTO: Alibaba Groups drone is pictured in this still from their e-commerce news site, alizila.com. alizila.com
Alibaba Group's drone is pictured in this still from their e-commerce news site, alizila.com.

As if holding the world's largest IPO wasn't enough, Alibaba is now beating Amazon in the drone delivery game.

The Chinese e-commerce company said on its blog that it has began a three day drone delivery test to deliver a special type of tea purchased through its Taobao division. Customers must live within a one-hour quadcopter flight of Alibaba's warehouses in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.

Some 450 customers are expected to be treated to drone delivery during the pilot, which ends Friday.

A video posted online shows the tea-carrying drones flying high above the busy city until landing outside a residential building where the package can be collected by a customer.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has for years shared his plan for Amazon to implement a drone delivery service, saying that one day the flying vehicles may be as common as seeing a mail truck.

Despite Amazon's tremendous push ahead in testing the drones, the company has been limited to private testing due to FAA restrictions on commercial drones.