Friday, November 24, 2006

Postman Jack

I was interested yesterday to see news of a tie-up between China's old and new worlds: and the Chinese post office, China Post. The People's Daily quotes Alibaba founder Jack Ma saying that "the cooperation would help solve the problem of delivery that bottlenecks the country's burgeoning e-commerce". It says that the post office will develop a special Express Mail Service (EMS) which will be 40% cheaper than regular EMS and will be directly linked to (Alibaba's auction site) and the Alipay online payment system. We assume that, once the proposed 'test drive' in Hangzhou is completed and the service rolls out nationally, it would ultimately be opened up to other e-commerce providers.

But, round 1 to Alibaba.

Unlike post offices in some developed countries, the China Post actually has quite a good reputation in China for slow but reliable delivery of everything from magazine subscriptions to good, old-fashioned letters. It's current EMS system is pretty efficient but is regarded as too expensive for the low-priced items typically traded on auction sites like

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