The Alibaba News Roundup is a weekly digest of events and happenings across the company. This week, we look at Alibaba’s autonomous logistics robots being deployed at universities in China. Also featured is Ele.me’s new pharmacy delivery service equipped with the option for consumers to use their health insurance to pay for prescriptions on the delivery app. We also cover the eWTP’s new campaign to address some of the most-asked questions on cross-border digital trade.
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Back-to-School Season: Campus Post Offices Get Reinforcements
Alibaba has dispatched a new fleet of “Xiaomanlv” autonomous logistics robots to 15 universities this month. Students need only to set a pickup time to have these contactless cars deliver packages right to their dorms. Unveiled last September, Xiaomanlv is the company’s most-advanced iteration of self-driving vehicles. During last year’s 11.11 Global Shopping Festival, a peak period for deliveries, Alibaba deployed 22 Xiaomanlv robots at China’s Zhejiang University. By the end of the event, they had delivered about 50,000 parcels, saving students an estimated 17,000 hours of pickup time combined.
Ele.me Piloting New Upgrade for Pharmacy Delivery Service
Through Alibaba’s on-demand delivery app Ele.me, Chinese consumers can already have medicines delivered to their homes from pharmacies at any hour of the day. To upgrade the service further, Ele.me wants to allow consumers to pay for their medicine with insurance – all within the app. This week, it began piloting the new service with six pharmacies in the eastern Chinese city of Jinhua. Jinhua residents can access the service via the Ele.me, Taobao and Alipay apps.
eWTP Answers Your Questions on Cross-border Digital Trade
eWTP, an Alibaba-led initiative that helps small and medium-sized enterprises do business globally, opened an online form this week to receive questions from entrepreneurs and SMEs who have interest in cross-border digital trade. eWTP said its in-house experts will gather the questions to answer them in a series of videos that will be released starting next month. To participate, click here and make sure you follow eWTP’s LinkedIn or Facebook to follow up on the topic.
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