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Chinese e-commerce company has inked a partnership with Fung Retailing Ltd to develop AI-driven retail solutions as part of a bid to establish a new retail format for China and Asia.

According to the agreement signed on Friday (2 February), the two companies will cooperate in using AI to transform the retail landscape, and to collaborate in areas including AI platform development and the application of AI to smart retail.

The partnership calls for the establishment of an AI Boundaryless Retail Centre that will oversee and manage cooperative research and development projects, and facilitate the sharing of information and expertise relating to AI technology.

Leveraging AI, and combining’s online expertise and Fung Retailing’s offline knowledge, the two firms aim to develop a new retail format for China and Asia. This includes creating an AI-driven retail system that seamlessly integrates online and offline retail platforms; developing an end-to-end system that enables the management of products, pricing, storage, order and payment; and enhancing consumer experience through solutions such as AI-driven virtual fitting, unmanned stores and smart shopping assistants.

Speaking at the signing, Sabrina Fung, group managing director of Fung Retailing Ltd said when it comes to the future of retail, and driving the customer experience, AI is an essential component.

She added: “Across our retail portfolio, AI is a focal point and this co-operation with JD will, without doubt, accelerate our progress.”

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Meanwhile, other areas of focus within the agreement include cooperation on the construction of AI infrastructure, as well as smart retail, creating AI-driven solutions that break down the barriers between online and offline, and exploring the intersection of AI and fashion.

“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,” added Bowen Zhou, vice president of and head of JD’s AI platform and research. “Drawing on Fung Retailing’s global offline retail expertise, this partnership will be important for us as we deliver our retail vision.”