Published: 12:09, June 3, 2024
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Drone deliveries begin to take off in Shenzhen
By Zhou Mo in Shenzhen

People at a city library in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, can now have food delivered by drones following the launch of a low-altitude transport route.

The new service allows people to place orders at Shenzhen Library North, in the city's Longhua district, and receive their food within 10 minutes.

Few restaurants are allowed to operate near the library.

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"Food delivery by drones has provided more convenience for us," Shenzhen resident Li Xiong said. "Within 10 minutes of placing an order, I received a message telling me that my order had arrived.

"The library has also set up a dining area for us near the drone landing site."

The Meituan online delivery platform, which offers the service, said that in addition to food vendors, retailers and other types of merchants are offering drone delivery of more than 1,000 types of products.

The development of China's low-altitude sector is gathering steam. The low-altitude economy, viewed as a strategic emerging industry and a new growth engine for the country, was included in the Government Work Report for the first time this year.

A report by market research firm CCID Consulting, a think tank affiliated with the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, said China's low-altitude economy was worth nearly 506 billion yuan ($69.8 billion) last year, up 33.8 percent year-on-year, and its value is expected to surpass 1 trillion yuan by 2026.

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Unmanned aerial vehicles are playing a significant role in driving the low-altitude economy. According to official statistics, the number of UAV enterprises in China reached over 19,000 by the end of last year, with annual economic output hitting 152 billion yuan.

Shenzhen is home to more than 1,730 enterprises in the drone industry chain, which generate revenue totaling 96 billion yuan a year.