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Postal delivery reform welcome
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According to China's new Postal Law, which comes into effect from Oct 1, and its regulation for implementation, intra-city express delivery of items under 50 g and intercity delivery of items under 100 g will be handled by State-owned post offices. Private mail services may lose 80 percent of the express delivery market that accounts for 40-60 percent of the total express business, but it also means postal service remains a public utility service, says an article in China Youth Daily. Excerpt:

According the new Postal Law, most letters and postcards will only be express-delivered by State-owned post offices. This is not good news for people who are already unhappy with the national postal service's relative inefficiency and poor service.

Whether old or new, laws tend to protect the State-owned postal service in the name of information security. But how can the authorities say mails will be unsafe if they weigh less than 100 g and safe if they more than 100 g?

The public may feel the new law is unfair on private or foreign express-delivery companies, especially if we consider their efficiency.

But monopoly in posts is rational because it is a public utility service. For example, private express-delivery firms will not offer services in some frontier and remote areas, and in regions they do not consider profitable. So the new law ensures that postal service remains a public utility service.

The new law may not necessarily cause a fatal impact on private express-delivery firms because they are smart enough to expand their markets in unfavorable situations.

But the State-owned postal department should improve its service and efficiency and make its operations and reform more transparent.

(China Daily September 17, 2009)

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