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China gets a 5G unmanned convenience store

China gets a 5G unmanned convenience store
China is investing billions of dollars in 5G, the next generation of mobile connectivity that’s become a top buzzword in the country. (Picture: Fabian Bimmer/Reuters)

It may be a while before everyone gets to experience 5G, but China has already rolled it out to some subway stations and used it for streaming TV. Now 5G connectivity is coming to stores.

Aiquna is a 5G-connected unmanned convenience store in Shanghai that's been in trial operation for a month, Chinese state media reported. It’s similar to unmanned stores like Amazon Go, Alibaba’s Hema Supermarket and BingoBox. Aiquna stocks food and daily necessities for which payment is automatically deducted from customers’ accounts after they scan the products.

This is where the 5G comes in: The fast connection is supposed to make the shopping experience smoother. Buyers reportedly receive their receipts on their phones within seconds of leaving the store.

Analysts expect retail to be one of the major areas to benefit from 5G connectivity. Hong Kong got its first 5G convenience store in August.

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