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Are Real Names Necessary for Delivery Services?
 NO. 47 NOVEMBER 19, 2015


The real-name registration system for parcel delivery services introduced on November 1 has stirred much controversy. According to the new rule enforced by the State Post Bureau, the Ministry of Public Security and the State Administration of Work Safety, people are required to provide their personal identification when sending packages and couriers are required to check the contents and X-ray them.

Many senders are now worried about the possibility of having their personal information leaked during the delivery process. Meanwhile, delivery companies complain that the new rule complicates their working procedures and reduces their efficiency. Additionally, various media outlets have found that the new regulations have not been well enforced since they were put in place.

A necessary measure 

Wang Shuangshuang ( The benefits of the real-name registration system outweigh the adverse impacts. For instance, it serves to deter those intending to send dangerous items through those delivery services and prevents illegal activities. When dangerous items are discovered, the public security department can trace the sender in order to solve a case more efficiently. Besides, it increases the sense of security of the recipients.

Although it has encountered many difficulties in its application, the new system represents a positive reform. The public should obey relevant laws and shoulder their responsibilities as well. Law enforcement authorities should put in place regulations to protect the privacy of customers. Only when the public's privacy is guaranteed should they support the change in policy. In addition, the authorities should deal out strict punishments for any disobedience of the new rules in accordance with the law.

Li Xing (Changjiang Daily ): Compared to traditional postal services, new delivery companies have made life more convenient and have helped change many people's purchasing habits. Nevertheless, safety has become a prominent concern hindering the sustainable development of this industry.

Against that background, the new registration system has become a necessity. But, given the lack of strict supervision over this sector, it is understandable that some members of the public would be worried that their personal information might be leaked. As a matter of fact, the delivery industry currently has no effective measure in place for protecting their customers' information. As a result, many consumers have chosen to conceal their real identities.

As a safety measure, the real-name registration system has been effectively applied in civil aviation, railway and telecommunication services. However, the application of the system to the delivery industry, which is dominated by private companies, is still challenging. Delivery companies should face up to this serious safety problem and fully adhere to the new regulations. These new measures are necessary to prevent the delivery of bombs, dangerous chemicals and drugs. If these security loopholes in the industry are left untouched, the social order at large might be negatively affected.

Xiao Yinglin (Changsha Evening Newspaper ): The delivery sector is an emerging industry in China. The Central Government has unveiled a slew of new policies to help regulate these businesses. However, the problem is whether local government departments can adhere to them substantially enough and strengthen their supervision over these services. In applying the real name registration system, local government departments should try to address the public's unease regarding the delivery companies' handling of their information.

Concerns remain  

Chang Qingcun (Beijing Youth Daily ): The government has not prepared enough to put the real-name registration system into full practice. It has not taken the necessary measures to reduce the public's concern over their privacy or the delivery companies' worries about their reduced efficiency.

Han Ruilin, an official with the State Post Bureau, said that real-name registration may lead to the leakage of senders' private information and that the solution was to strengthen the training and supervision of those companies, enforce stricter rules over the industry and strengthen their self-discipline.

At present, however, the laws and regulations governing the industry are rather elusive. For instance, a notice issued by the State Post Bureau on its website said that companies which refuse to adhere to the policy and cause major safety accidents will be punished in accordance with law. In other words, companies will only be penalized if and when they commit a serious breach to the regulations. This therefore gives businesses enough leeway to disregard the new rule, since such large indiscretions are uncommon.

Fu Dalin (Beijing Times ): This sector has developed rapidly in recent years. The State Post Bureau revealed on October 16 that nearly 20 billion parcels are expected to be delivered this year. With such a large volume of business, it has a definite impact on our daily lives. Moreover, this figure is bound to increase as the economy shifts more toward consumption in the future. However, the question is whether these emerging services are regulated and mature enough to do business safely.

A rise in criminal use of delivery services has produced a need for real names in order to enforce the law effectively. However, the precursor to practicing the new system is to have sophisticated safety measures already in place. Only a well-regulated industry can prevent the privacy leakages that the public are worried about most. Personal information confidentiality continues to be a prevalent issue in the banking and telecom sectors. Delivery services should be held to the same strict safety standard that other businesses handling private information already adhere to.

A set of regulations governing the operation of the industry should be established and responsibilities should be properly distributed between delivery companies, couriers and customers.

Fu Xiaowei (Guangzhou Daily ): The creation of the new registration system represents part of the government's efforts to improve this emerging commercial sector and to deal with public safety concerns. With the rise of online purchases, new delivery services have become a boon to the economy as well as an effective channel that connects more customers to online vendors.

However, the enforcement of the new rule alone is inadequate. More checks should be placed by the Central Government to ensure the continued growth of these businesses as well as the safety of the consumers in general.

Liu Tianzhu ( If the main purpose of this new system is to prevent the delivery of dangerous and explosive items, is it necessary to force ordinary citizens to comply? While the system may be convenient for relevant government departments to strengthen their supervision over the industry, it has caused much inconvenience for customers and businesses alike.

One solution might be to categorize the customers and implement the system selectively. For example, online vendors should be required to provide their real personal identification to prevent them from cheating customers. Also, rather than checking the identification cards of customers, directly checking the items being delivered may be more effective in avoiding potential safety threats.

Copyedited by Bryan Michael Galvan

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