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Innovative Collaboration: Taobao Teams Up with Rocket Startup for Sustainable Deliveries


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Space Epoch, a prominent Chinese rocket manufacturer, revealed on Sunday a groundbreaking collaboration with Alibaba’s renowned online shopping platform, Taobao. This partnership aims to pioneer reusable rocket technology for express deliveries, promising global shipment times as swift as one hour. The venture, currently in its preliminary trial phases, aspires to engineer a rocket capable of transporting payloads of up to ten tons within a 120 cubic meter container, as stated in an announcement on Space Epoch’s official WeChat social media account.

Alibaba, a leading e-commerce giant, refrained from immediate comment on this innovative initiative. Space Epoch, headquartered in Beijing, plans to employ its ‘Yuanxing-1’ rocket, which underwent successful ignition and offshore recovery trials the previous year. The company anticipates conducting delivery tests utilizing rockets in the near future, acknowledging the formidable challenges inherent in achieving its objectives within the foreseeable future.

The endeavor aligns with President Xi Jinping’s vision of bolstering strategic industries, particularly the commercial space sector, recognized as pivotal in establishing satellite constellations for communication, remote sensing, and navigation purposes. Notably, 2023 witnessed a surge in Chinese commercial space activity, marked by 17 successful launches and only one failure, amidst China’s record-breaking tally of 67 orbital launches. This upswing from 2022, which saw 10 commercial launches including two failures, underscores the burgeoning momentum in China’s space industry.

Space Epoch, buoyed by its vision and potential, secured a significant investment of 200 million yuan ($27.70 million) in its third financing round last November, reflecting investor confidence in the company’s endeavors to reshape the future of space logistics. This financial backing is pivotal in fueling the research, development, and operational phases of their ambitious project.

In essence, this collaborative effort between Space Epoch and Alibaba’s Taobao heralds a new era in logistics, leveraging cutting-edge rocket technology to revolutionize express deliveries on a global scale. With aspirations of overcoming logistical barriers and achieving rapid delivery times, this initiative underscores China’s commitment to advancing its space capabilities and propelling innovation in the commercial space sector.

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