Technology and innovation have transformed China's retail space — and that's what sets the sector apart from the rest of the world, according to a senior executive at JD.com.
Innovation in the domestic retail industry has led to newer ways for businesses to sell their products to consumers, including via online and offline channels and over social networks, Ling Chenkai, vice president at JD.com, told CNBC's Eunice Yoon during a fireside chat at the East Tech West conference held in the Nansha district of Guangzhou, China.
"The retail infrastructure during the past couple of years have improved a lot, I think the retail infrastructure is really leading the world," Ling said. He explained that China has adopted advanced technologies including artificial intelligence, the study of large volumes of data and blockchain in the retail sector. That has led to the development of new types of unmanned convenience stores popping up in China — where customers check out items on their own, and where facial recognition and electronic price tags are used.
Ling predicted that there will other types of developments happening in the future.
JD.com competes aggressively with Jack Ma's Alibaba in China's massive e-commerce space and has the backing of prominent global and local names such as Google and Tencent.
Recently, China celebrated a major shopping event called Singles Day where both JD and Alibaba racked up billions of dollars in e-commerce sales. The spending habits of Chinese consumers have attracted many Western brands, including luxury names, to sell in China.