By Wu Weiting (吴娓婷)
Issue 606, Feb 4, 2013
Nation, page 14
Translated by Liu Jingyue
Original article: [Chinese]
Representatives from more than ten private express delivery companies expressed opposition at an industry forum held in Beijing yesterday to plans for establishing a new government fund that will raise money by charging a "postal service fee" (份子钱) on all deliveries.
In Janurary this year, the State Post Bureau (国家邮政局) circulated draft regulations pertaining to the new fund. According to the draft, the bureau will collect 0.1 yuan for each intra-city delivery and 0.2 yuan for each inter-city delivery. A fee of 1 yuan per package will be levied on parcels sent to Hong Kong, Macao or Taiwan and overseas deliveries will incur a 2 yuan fee per item. Small courier companies with less than 20 employees or with annual turnover of less than 2 million yuan will be exempt from the levy.
The draft plan to establish the new General Postal Service Fund (邮政普遍服务基金) has yet to be forwarded to the State Council for approval. The policy's stated aim is to level the playing field in the express delivery industry, which State Post says is skewed due to the state-owned sector shouldering most of the load when it comes to making deliveries to remote areas. The private courier companies tend to concentrate their business on the more profitable large cities.
The State Post Bureau says this causes an imbalance in the profits earned by the private courier companies and China Post (邮政公司), the public postal service.
Experts at yesterday's seminar said that the planned introduction of the new fee was "unreasonable rather than illegal," because the public postal service already receives subsidies from the government. Other speakers at the forum noted that the public postal service is already making a lot of money.
According to details released when China Postal Express & Logistics Corporation (中国邮政速递物流股份有限公司) was applying to list on the Shanghai stock exchange, the China Post Group Corporation (中国邮政集团) which is the parent company of China Post, China Postal Express & Logistics Corporation and Postal Savings Bank of China, made a net profit of close to 21 billion yuan in 2011.
A person working in the delivery industry told the National Business Daily that private companies are currently making between 0.3 and 0.6 yuan on each item they deliver. The EO reported in February that the average rate of profit for private delivery companies is between 3 to 8 percent of revenue.
Chen Dejun (陈德军), CEO of Shentong Express (申通快递), one of the biggest private express delivery companies in China, told a reporter from the EO that the company handles about 6 million packages a day. Most of these packages are inter-city deliveries. If a 0.2 yuan charge is deducted from each package, the company could stand to lose up to 30 million yuan in revenue a month.
Links and Sources
National Business Daily: 快递企业抗议邮政“份子钱”：合法不合理