Alibaba rolls out three-hour delivery service for healthcare goods
By Paul Carsten
BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese online shopping giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd is rolling out a three-hour delivery service for healthcare goods, mimicking rival JD.com Inc.
The service will launch in five Chinese cities, including Beijing and Shanghai, and expand to 19 by the end of 2015, Alibaba said on Tuesday.
Products beyond healthcare will be added in the future.
It works through a partnership with five pharmacy chains that sell goods via stores on Alibaba's Tmall.com website.
The service, called 'Ji Su Da' or "fast delivery", links shoppers who buy eligible products to the nearest of more than 1,500 drugstores.
Cainiao, an Alibaba affiliate operated in partnership with various logistics firms, collects and delivers the order.
Alibaba's biggest e-commerce challenger is JD.com, which is built on a devotion to strong logistics networks and speedy delivery similar to Amazon.com Inc.
Wary of that prowess when it comes to distribution, Alibaba and its partners have spent recent years building out Cainiao in an effort to compete. Continued...