Will real name verification slow down 10 billion package deliveries in China?

Wendy Tang and Mochou Lee

When China’s real-name verification for package deliveries came into effect on Sunday, many couriers were unable to enforce the new practice. Customers were found to be unwilling to furnish their IDs and courier companies objected to the added extra cost of new X-ray scanners, Beijing Business Today reports.

The new measure requires senders to verify their telephone numbers and ID before a package can be accepted by a courier. Not only does this slow down the process for couriers, the measure also lacks a unified system for verifying identities.

It is reported some couriers are using a notebook to register names, while some couriers verify through cell phone numbers. Shao Zhonglin, Deputy Secretary General for China Express Association, told Beijing Business Today that hand-written personal data involves privacy and security issues.

“How do delivery companies manage personal data when smaller delivery companies have hundreds of shipments a day and bigger companies handle thousands of shipments a day?” Shao asked.

China has the largest express delivery market. People’s Daily reported that 14 billion packages were delivered in 2014. Many delivery companies including SF Express, EMS and Yunda Express work closely with e-commerce sites like Tmall, Alibaba and JD.com.

E-commerce sites are required to check packages with X-ray machines. It is said an X-ray machine is able to go through as many as 900 packages an hour. A few courier companies so far are able to use partner customer registration databases to verify identities when sending packages.

As China’s Double-11 Festival (November 11) – the Chinese version of Cyber Monday – approaches, many delivery companies have told Beijing Business Today that verification procedures will not affect them too much because packages will be sent from e-commerce sites.

It is reported the State Post Bureau estimates package deliveries to reach as high as 140 million consignments for November 11.

Below are top five courier companies operating in China:



Founded in Guangzhou in 1993, SF-Express services include information collection, market development, logistics distribution and express delivery. SF has also tapped overseas markets launching services in multiple foreign countries including the U.S., Singapore, South Korea, Japan and Australia. To date, it has nearly 340,000 employees, 16,000 vehicles, 19 aircraft and 12,260 service centers in both mainland China and overseas.

STO Express


It was founded in 1993 and is headquartered in Shanghai. It now has more than 200,000 employees spread over 1,370 branches throughout the country. It witnessed a 50% increase in express delivery services last year, with 2.4 billion packages sent, accounting for 17% of the total express delivery market.

YTO Express


It was founded in Shanghai in 2000. Mainly targeted at delivering packages under 50 kilograms, YTO offers alternative services including regional same-day delivery, nationwide next-morning delivery, nationwide next-day delivery and international small parcel delivery. YTO is counted among the top 3 express companies in China with 155,000 delivery centers, 72 transmit centers, 30,000 vehicles, seven aircraft and more than 200,000 employees.

Yunda Express


It was founded in Shanghai in 1999, with business areas covering 31 provinces, including Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan. Yunda has also expanded overseas by launching services in Japan, Korea, U.S. and Germany. Yunda Express has 40,000 online centers and more than 70 distribution centers in China. It has also set up aviation centers in almost all capital city for the transportation of packages by air.

ZTO Express


It was founded in Shanghai in 2002. ZTO Express in 2013 acquired 20% of Ruston, a Russian express delivery company, and now additionally serves the Sino-Russian cross-border logistics market. ZTO has over 200,000 employees, 72 transmit centers, more than 10,000 service centers and over 40,000 vehicles.
(Photos from Baidu Image)


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