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China tech

JD.com debuts chartered cargo flights to Thailand

Cross-border online shipments to be delivered in 48 hours

A cargo aircraft chartered by JD.com for flights between Shenzhen and Bangkok. (Photo courtesy of the company)

BANGKOK -- Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com has begun chartered cargo flights connecting its home country to Thailand, looking to fulfill online orders involving shipments between the two countries within 48 hours.

The three round-trip flights weekly between Shenzhen's Bao'an International Airport and Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok represent JD's first such chartered links in the Asia-Pacific region, the company said.

"We see enormous potential in Southeast Asia, and this is just the first step," Stard Huang, who heads JD's international logistics business, said in a release.

In Thailand, JD has partnered with the country's leading retail conglomerate, Central Group, to run the online shopping platform JD Central.

JD mainly ships daily necessities and small household electronics from China to Thailand through JD Central. Shipments from Thailand to China consist largely of fresh produce and automotive parts, JD said in Friday's announcement.

Online orders have exploded in Thailand during the coronavirus pandemic. JD Central's sales for 2020 nearly tripled from the previous year, the Bangkok Post reports. JD plans to raise its competitive advantage by enhancing its distribution network.

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