China's largest retailer JD.com on Friday announced its partnership with Fung Retailing Limited to develop artificial intelligence-driven retail solutions. With this new endeavor, the two companies aim to develop a new retail format for China and Asia.
Part of the agreement forged between parties is the use of AI to transform the retail industry as well as the development of AI platform and its application to smart retail. In this venture, the companies will create an AI-driven retail system that seamlessly integrates online and offline platforms.
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In addition, they will develop an end-to-end system that enables the management of products, pricing, storage, order, and payment. And on top of these is the enhancement of consumer experience through solutions such as AI-driven virtual fitting, unmanned stores, and smart shopping assistants.
This strategic agreement is expected to benefit both parties on the same level, given JD.com's extensive online expertise and Fung Retailing's offline expertise. Fung Retailing has a network of more than 3,000 stores across China, while JD.com remains to be the biggest e-commerce company in the country.
The partnership will establish an AI Boundaryless Retail Center that will oversee and manage cooperative research and development projects. Additionally, it will serve as the information and expertise centre where the companies can share inputs relating to AI technology.
"When it comes to the future of retail, and driving the customer experience, AI is an essential component. Across our retail portfolio, AI is a focal point and this cooperation with JD will, without doubt, accelerate our progress," says Sabrina Fung, group managing director at Fung Retailing Limited, in a statement.
"As one of the largest retailers in the world, we believe that figuring out how to deploy AI solutions is critical to our future success. Drawing on Fung Retailing's global offline retail expertise, this partnership will be important for us as we deliver our retail vision," says Bowen Zhou, vice president of JD.com and head of JD's AI Platform and Research, in a statement.