Following up on last week’s guide, here’s a hairy crab update: the latest battle involving these hirsute crustaceans is being waged not with furry claws, but with competing e-commerce logistics chains. The Wall Street Journal breaks this crucial story: partners with Air China Cargo Co. Ltd for prompt handling of hairy crabs at airports around the country. Alibaba’s Tmall assembled a fleet of 40 refrigerated trucks to pick up freshly harvested crabs and deliver them to 70 flights every day. Both companies say they deliver hairy crabs to consumers in some cities within six hours of ordering and by the next day for those in hundreds of other cities. Both promise to reimburse customers if the crabs arrive dead.

The most prized hairy crabs come from one lake near Suzhou, and must be alive when cooked — finding an edge over the logistical challenge of slinging these living lake bugs to all corners of the country is the crux of the heated rivalry between the two tech titans. And the demand is incredibly high. says that they shipped over 16 million hairy crabs in September alone (they’re at their best in September and October). Alibaba retail arm Tmall tells the WSJ “it sold 140,000 of them in one minute at a pre-sale event last month.”  (Emphasis ours; that’s so many crabs.)

Read the full story — which gives a staggering picture of both the hairy crab economy in itself, and as a proxy for the war for dominance among two of China’s biggest internet companies — here.

And find Radii’s own take on the hairy crab phenomenon, complete with fun GIFs and time-lapse video, here:

A Mid-Autumn Delicacy: How to Cook and Eat Hairy Crab