How covid spurs China’s great robotic leap forward

June 25th 2020, The Economist | By Invitation | The world after covid-19

The pandemic is accelerating a shift towards people-less companies that will eventually characterize business everywhere.

DURING THE SARS crisis almost 20 years ago, shops in Beijing were completely closed. It forced one retailer, Jingdong Century Trading Co, to try its luck online. That retailer was JD.com, today one of China’s e-commerce giants. Fast forward to 2020. Amid the covid-19 crisis, JD.com managed a 20% spike in sales with the help of…