JD.com, also known as Jingdong, is China’s largest retailer. On January 8, 2019, the company made history when it launched the very first government-approved flight of a drone aircraft in Indonesia. The flight is notable because it sets the stage for drone flights all over Indonesia for both commercial and charitable purposes. Indonesian government officials were present at the flight and were enthusiastic about what they witnessed, and an announcement of the successful flight was made at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum.
A philanthropic flight
The drone flew over rice fields, villages and jungle to an elementary school in Jagabita Village, Parung Panjang to deliver backpacks full of books and supplies to the students. Camera footage of the event showed scenes of the drone sailing smoothly through the air until it landed at a large red pad in the schoolyard. The entire school came out to watch it touch down, and the children who received the delivery were very excited. After the landing, some asked when Jingdong will be able to deliver goods to their homes.
Jagabita village was chosen for the delivery site because it is in a remote part of Indonesia where roads are often in poor condition and frequently flooded, and it is difficult to make deliveries by truck. This type of situation is common in Indonesia, a country of thousands of islands where roads are generally bad and bridges scarce. Delivery by drone is nothing new to Jingdong because they have been using drone technology to reach people in rural China since 2016. By using drones, Jingdong is opening doors for those in traditionally underserved areas.
Jingdong has an impressive record of philanthropy in the areas it operates, and the delivery to the school children is just one more example. They use their state-of-the-art eCommerce platform and highly sophisticated logistics operation to help charitable donations from the company and its customers reach those who need them most. Jingdong also excels at getting emergency supplies wherever they need to go, no matter how adverse the circumstances, after natural catastrophes such as earthquakes and floods.
JD.com has been making eCommerce deliveries in Indonesia since 2016 and has an impressive record of success. In fact, 85 percent of their deliveries are on the same day of the order or the day after, which is remarkable in a country with such challenging transportation infrastructure. The use of drones in Indonesia will doubtless reduce delivery times even more.
Jingdong sets the gold-standard for online and traditional retailing in China. They provide rapid delivery service to a population of roughly one billion, which is one of the greatest logistics achievements in human history. Founded in 1998 by Richard Liu, Jingdong represents excellence in all aspects of its operation.
Liu started the company from a single bricks-and-mortar store. He was one of the first to see the possibilities of using the Internet in retailing and quickly took his operation online. Today, Jingdong is China’s largest retailer, and successful growth is expected to continue.