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Wahaha Group eyes next-generation vending machines

By Du Xiaofei (People's Daily Online)    15:34, June 27, 2017

(File photo)

Hangzhou Wahaha Group announced a purchasing contract with DeepBlue Technology (Shanghai) to buy one million TakeGo vending machines in 10 years on June 25. This move unfolds the ambition of the largest beverage producer in China to switch its business from fast-moving consumer goods to automated retailing.

The contract centers on the smart payment system quiXmart developed by DeepBlue, a start-up founded by Chen Haibo in 2014. The system is based on the “TakeGo” automated convenient store launched by the same company in 2017. Through machine vision, biometric identification, and deep learning, machines can identity a customer’s movements. If a customer picks up an item, it will be automatically placed into a digital shopping cart and removed if the item is returned. Customers are billed automatically via Alipay when they leave the store.

(File photo)

“Since last year, Wahaha has made plans to invest two billion RMB to put one million automated vending machines into market within 10 years. Right now there are over 5,000 in place.” Zong Zehou, brother of Wahaha’s founder Zong Qinghou told a reporter with Jiemian. “The payment system will be applied to Wahaha vending machines in the future. For us, the most attractive feature is that customers can change their minds even after the transaction is completed.”

DeepBlue CEO Chen haibo (file photo)

Chen’s assistant Liu Yuangui said, “quiXmart can recognize items with an accuracy of 90 percent. We can bump that up to 97 percent with an error correction system.”

According to internal information, DeepBlue’s clients include convenient store franchise chain FamilyMart and fast-moving consumer goods giants Yili, Guangming, and Lai Yifen.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hu Ximeng, Bianji)

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