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Pencil Banner to expand into Thailand by end 2017

Adrian M. Reodique | June 15, 2017
The e-commerce company is also looking for local partners.

Credit: Twitter account

Thai consumers may soon be able to shop online using, as the Chinese e-commerce company plans to expand its operations to Thailand before the year ends.

The plan is part of its move to expand its overseas business beyond Indonesia, as well as service other Southeast Asia countries like Malaysia and Vietnam, Chairman and CEO Richard Liu told Reuters last Friday (9 June 2017).

Even though Liu did not disclose the exact amount they would invest in the project, he said that his company will "invest a lot [in Thailand] and find the best find the best local partners to work together with."


Relying on drones to improve logistics

In May, announced that its net revenue for the first quarter of 2017 was 76.2 billion yuan (US$11.22 billion), and increase 41 percent from same period in 2016.

To keep up its growth momentum, the company has diversified into data, cloud and artificial intelligence services.

It is also building a low-altitude drone logistics network in China, which will include hundreds of routes and drone air bases throughout the entire province of Shaanxi for e-commerce shipments. Heavy-load drones will be able to carry goods weighing more than a ton to remote areas or agricultural produce to cities.

According to Liu, it now costs five times more to deliver packages to remote villages than in large cities. The use of drones for delivery could help to reduce the cost to around twice the cost. He added that the move will not cause job losses for the company as "a huge staff [is needed] to maintain the drones."

"We envision a network that will be able to efficiently transport goods between cities, and even between provinces, in the future. This is a milestone not only for [our company], but also for the entire transportation industry as we extend our logistics services to other shippers on and off of," said Wang Zhenhui, CEO of JD Logistics, in the company's press release in May.


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