Meituan's Robot Delivery Service Catches Global Attention

By Bryan Grogan, January 9, 2019

0 0

Meituan’s autonomous delivery robots have taken this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas by storm. The cute and handy robots were amongst the best-received items on display during the event, which also sees a host of other Chinese tech companies like Baidu and Alibaba in attendance.

While our China-based readers may already be familiar with the innovative method of delivery, which has been tested in cities like Shenzhen and Beijing over the past 12 months, Twitter has been abuzz with users outside of China posting about the next step in Meituan’s plan to disrupt the food delivery industry here in China. 

Screengrab via @NicoleWakelin/Twitter

Screengrab via @stephenakirk/Twitter

While the robots certainly put on a show for visitors, Meituan made headlines by announcing that they have partnered with three international companies for their autonomous delivery platform. The move sees the company take another step forward in making autonomous delivery a part of daily life. As stated by the company on Twitter, they are aiming to “develop a complete industry value chain for autonomous delivery.”

Their new partners are: Valeo from France, NVIDIA from US, and Icona from Italy. Valeo is an automotive supplier, and will provide key components, such as engines and sensors, for Meituan’s autonomous robots. NVIDIA, which is a leader in AI computing, will provide technical support during the research and development and testing processes, while Icona, an automotive design company, will be Meituan's design partner for the robots. 

All the way back in April 2017, Wang Xing, the CEO of Meituan Dianping, expressed his intention to cut costs by developing food-delivery robots during a summit in Beijing. “Driverless cars and robots are not that far away in the future and it is my view that food-delivering robots will appear even sooner than driverless cars,” said Wang, adding that the use of data and artifical intelligence will bring down costs and delivery times.

Well, it appears the day that we receive our waimai from a robot is fast approaching, with Meituan taking bold steps towards conquering the oncoming autonomous delivery industry. (Let’s not forget that other ecommerce companies like are also striving towards the same goal).

The announcement puts the cherry on top of a good few days for Meituan. Their platform, which can also be used for booking hotel rooms, recently announced that 2 million room-nights (rooms booked multiplied by total nights stay) had been registered on their platform in one day (Dec 31, 2018), a 30 percent improvement on the previous record, which was set in 2017.

READ MORE: WATCH: Robots Deliver Food To Office Buildings in Shenzhen

[Cover image via @meituandianping/Twitter]

more news

China is Eating Healthier Takeout, According to Meituan

Meituan reported a rise in the number of healthy food orders and outlets operating on the platform as of September 2019.

Death of Tech Worker Renews Concerns Over '996' Work Culture

While the cause of death is still unknown, Chinese netizens have criticized the company for mishandling the incident.

What You Need to Know About the New Hong Kong Tech Index

The index is comprised of the 30 largest Hong Kong listed technology companies.

Guangzhou Airport Rolls Out 'One ID' Facial Recognition Tech

Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport has announced that facial recognition ID is operational on domestic routes.

TikTok US Sale in Jeopardy After New Chinese Tech Export Rules

Last Friday, the Chinese government announced new restrictions and bans on technology exports.

Meituan App Takes Out Alipay

Screenshots of Meituan order pages circulating online show only bank card payment, Meituan’s recently launched monthly payment plan as well as WeChat Pay available.

UK Bans Huawei 5G Technology, Kits Must Be Removed by 2027

The British government announced that it ban the use of Huawei 5G tech and remove existing infrastructure over the next seven years.

CNBC's Arjun Kharpal Talks Big-Name Interviews and Tech Politics

We spoke with Kharpal about the tech world’s response to COVID-19 and one headline that’s been out of sight recently.

0 User Comments

In Case You Missed It…

We're on WeChat!

Scan our QR Code at right or follow us at thatsonline for events, guides, giveaways and much more!

7 Days in China With

Weekly updates to your email inbox every Wednesday


Download previous issues

Never miss an issue of That's Magazines!

Visit the archives