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China unveils regulations for its mega courier industry

China approved earlier this month first set of regulations for its huge express delivery industry.

The draft version of the Interim Regulations on Express Delivery is expected to address some of the major challenges such as information leakage and packaging waste.

The head of the State Post Bureau Ma Junsheng told a media briefing on Feb 27 in Beijing that the regulations are in place to encourage high-quality development in the industry and solve some of its thorny problems.

“One of the things we are paying attention to is personal information security. The new set of regulations makes it clear as to how packages should be sent to real names, have provisions on proper management of delivery data as well as severe punishment for behaviors that breach security protocols,” he said.

China’s courier industry has topped the world in volume and sales.

The industry delivered 40 billion packages in 2017, generating a revenue of 500 billion yuan, or $80 billion. It has also been growing at an annual rate of more than 30 percent.

It, however, has also created packaging waste problem.

“Package waste is a problem we have to face. We now have regulations that encourage companies to use degradable and reusable wrappings, let things go online and paperless. But at the same time, it’s not just people in the industry who should help, but everyone should be contributing to the environment,” said Ma.

He added that the postal service has turned to cloth bags in internal carriages to set an example—a practice he expects the majority of companies will follow shortly.