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Thursday, October 25, 2018

China as Retail Laboratory

China Is the World's Retail Laboratory  in Bloomberg BusinessWeek
By Rachel Chang

Chinese consumers eager for novelty are encouraging Alibaba, Tencent Holdings, and an array of startups to launch and pilot new technologies. One example is Smile to Pay from Alibaba's mobile payment branch, which employs facial-recognition systems and biometric data so diners at restaurants in the KPRO chain can order meals faster. Another Alibaba-powered technology lets diners at another restaurant chain order food on their smartphones or via a screen at the establishment's entrance, then pick up their meals from lockers connected to the kitchen. Meanwhile, the BingoBox startup has deployed a network of 300 automated convenience stores with radio-frequency identification (RFID) tag-outfitted merchandise to expedite checkout; shoppers gain access by scanning a quick response code displayed on the front of each store with the WeChat app. In March, the city of Guangzhou implemented a service allowing car shoppers to schedule test drives online, then pick up vehicles at an Alibaba-built auto vending machine.  ... " 

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