Alibaba Beats Amazon to Drone Delivery
Chinese company begins testing drones to deliver tea.
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.
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