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JD's white-glove delivery. Photo: Steve LeVine/Axios

A central feature of the future seems likely to be intolerance for the ticking second. That's according to JD.com, the Chinese e-commerce giant, which promises astonishing package delivery time.

By the numbers: The company says it makes 90% of Chinese deliveries within 24 hours, though 57% arrive within 12 hours — and you can also schedule delivery within 30 minutes. Even 85% of goods shipped from abroad are delivered in a day.

How it does it — and why: Apart from JD, China has no national courier company like FedEx or UPS. China's other e-commerce companies rely on dozens of disparate, disconnected local couriers.

  • JD founder Richard Liu says fast delivery is a compulsory differentiator. In recent years, he has forgone most profit in order to build up JD's nationwide logistics system, including some 65,000 staff couriers who deliver on bicycles and in small vans.
  • In the future, JD says, customers will tolerate only reliable, ultra-fast delivery. And their definition of "ultra-fast" will become shorter and shorter.
  • For luxury items, an electric Geely vehicle tools up to your house delivering your package by a white-gloved courier wearing a tie as in the photo above.
  • Two years ago, JD spun off delivery into JD Logistics, allowing other companies to pay for the service.

Go deeper with a similar venture here at home: Amazon's next targets: FedEx and UPS.

Go deeper

Salesforce rolls the dice on Slack

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Salesforce's likely acquisition of workplace messaging service Slack — not yet a done deal but widely anticipated to be announced Tuesday afternoon — represents a big gamble for everyone involved.

For Slack, challenged by competition from Microsoft, the bet is that a deeper-pocketed owner like Salesforce, with wide experience selling into large companies, will help the bottom line.

FBI stats show border cities are among the safest

Data: FBI, Kansas Bureau of Investigation; Note: This table includes the eight largest communities on the U.S.-Mexico border and eight other U.S. cities similar in population size and demographics; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

U.S. communities along the Mexico border are among the safest in America, with some border cities holding crime rates well below the national average, FBI statistics show.

Why it matters: The latest crime data collected by the FBI from 2019 contradicts the narrative by President Trump and others that the U.S.-Mexico border is a "lawless" region suffering from violence and mayhem.

Miriam Kramer, author of Space
2 hours ago - Science

The rise of military space powers

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Nations around the world are shoring up their defensive and offensive capabilities in space — for today's wars and tomorrow's.

Why it matters: Using space as a warfighting domain opens up new avenues for technologically advanced nations to dominate their enemies. But it can also make those countries more vulnerable to attack in novel ways.