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Japan's Aeon teams up with Alibaba-backed startup on AI-run stores

Aeon envisions unstaffed Chinese minimarts and smarter shopping centers

Japanese retailer Aeon operates about 430 supermarkets, convenience stores and other locations in China.

TOKYO -- Aeon, Japan's biggest retailer by sales, will join forces with an Alibaba-backed technology company to develop models for stores in China powered by artificial intelligence.

The Japanese group operates about 430 supermarkets, convenience stores and other locations in China. Its latest move in the Chinese market seeks to counter Amazon.com and other big names that are experimenting with high-tech store formats.

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