Updated 11:29 AM EDT, Tue, Jun 16, 2020

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Alibaba to Orbit World's First e-commerce Satellite; Might Also Launch Other Satellites

Space seller

(Photo : Alibaba ) Alibaba Group headquarters in Hangzhou.

Alibaba Group Holdings, Ltd, the world's largest retailer and China's largest e-commerce company, has revealed plans to launch the world's first e-commerce satellite that will be the first in its e-commerce satellite fleet.

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The as yet unnamed satellite will be launched and operated by Alibaba subsidiary, Juhuasuan, China's top group-buying site, with over a third of the market. The satellite is scheduled for launch some time in 2017.

Speculation abounds this satellite might be the first in a constellation or fleet of orbiting satellites since Juhuasuan kept referring to "satellites" when it talked about the project.

Juhuasuan was originally launched under Taobao Marketplace in March 2010 and was spun-off as an independent subsidiary of Alibaba Group in October 2011.  It's famous for its flash sales that make products available only for a fixed time period, which can last from one day to an entire month.

Juhuasuan said the e-commerce satellite project will be implemented in cooperation with the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology and the China Space Museum.

Juhuasuan and its partners aim to develop space exploration with the help of both space technology and e-commerce data.

It explained its e-commerce satellites will enable it to provide consumers with the world's best vegetables. This will be made possible by analyzing agricultural cultivation and harvesting data provided by its satellites.

"In the future, consumers on the Juhuasuan platform will be able to enjoy high-quality goods that follow the trajectory of the satellites. Lovers' keepsakes can be sent into space," said Liu Bo, Juhuasuan general manager.

He said Juhuasuan aims to develop a series of customized products with the help of its satellites.

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