Taobao, the online shopping mall under Alibaba Group Holdings, has started using unmanned aerial vehicles to deliver goods in three major Chinese cities, the Sky Post reported Thursday.
Alibaba has teamed up with Yuantong Express for the drone delivery service, which is currently limited to the shipment of ginger tea products sold by Shouquanzhai.
During the three-day trial which began on Wednesday, the company promises to deliver the tea packets within one hour in specific areas in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.
Despite the experimental program, experts believe it may take some time before online retailers make large-scale use of drones for delivery, citing the absence of regulations to manage such operations.
E-commerce pioneer Amazon and German logistics giant DHL have piloted drone delivery services, but have yet to launch them officially due to regulatory issues, the report said.
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