Meituan opens third regular flight route for drone-led food delivery

Although the company did not disclose details, it said delivery time is down roughly 50% with the drones.

Meituan (美团, 03690.HK), China’s top on-demand local services provider, has launched a third regular flight path for its drone-led food delivery business in Shenzhen.

Media reported that the flight path was kicked into action on September 4 in a local park of Shenzhen’s Nanshan District, making it the third such drone routes operated by the internet giant.

According to Meituan, the new route launched as part of the tie-up between its drone affiliate and a Smart City service operator under CR Land (华润置地), a property developer.

Meituan will fly drones along this path from 11am to 5:40pm (GMT+8) everyday. Users who find themselves in the Shenzhen Talent Park can place orders for food takeout from merchants about 1 km away.

After merchants prepare the food, Meituan drones will transport it a few minutes later to a designated spot in the nearby park.

Although the company did not disclose details, it said delivery time is down roughly 50% with the drones.

cnrobopedia reported earlier that Meituan got the official greenlight from civil aviation authorities in February this year to operate drone delivery in China’s low-altitude urban airspace.

As of the end of August, Meituan’s drone fleets had been deployed to seven business districts in Shenzhen and Shanghai, responsible for providing delivery services for 14 office buildings and 4 5A-class scenic attractions.

More than 184,000 customer orders have been fulfilled this way.

Shenzhen is at the forefront of the nation’s drive to tap what it calls “low-altitude economy,” with firms like Meituan taking the lead to monetize technologies like drone.

The city’s low-altitude economy contributed 75 billion yuan (US$10.27 billion) last year alone, making up 70% of the country’s total.

Avatar photo
Ni Tao

Ni Tao is the founder and editor-in-chief of cnrobopedia. Prior to cnrobopedia, he had a full decade of experience with a major state-run English-language newspaper as a tech reporter and opinion writer. He is also a communications specialist, having provided consultancy services to established firms like Siemens, Philips, ABinBev, Diageo, Group (Nasdaq: TCOM, HK: 9961), Jianpu Technology (NYSE: JT) and a handful of domestic startups. A graduate of Fudan University, he writes widely about China's business and tech scenes and other topics for global publications including South China Morning Post, SupChina, The Diplomat, CGTN, Banking Technology, among others, and tries to impart his experience to students at Fudan University Journalism School, where he is a part-time lecturer. When he's not writing about robotics, you can expect him to be on his beloved Yanagisawa saxophones, trying to play some jazz riffs, often in vain and occasionally against the protests of an angry neighbor. Get in touch with him by dropping a line at

Articles: 662