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Package Delivery Companies in China on Strike

Recently, people in many parts of China have complained about the delay in package delivery. The media reported that a number of package delivery companies are on strike due to wage cuts. The strike highlights the unhealthy price competition among the booming package delivery companies in China.

Metropolitan newspapers reported that due to rising logistics costs, some delivery companies chose to cut the delivery fee paid to couriers to save money. One company cut the delivery fee from the original 1.2 yuan (18 cents) per item to 0.5 yuan (7.5 cents).

The couriers who went on strike came from companies including ZTO Express, Yunda Express, Best Express, and the YTO Express Group. The affected areas included Changsha in Hunan province, Sanming in Fujian province, Hebei province, Suzhou in Jiangsu province, and Changchun in Jilin province.

The booming e-commerce in China has sent the package delivery industry on a high growth path. Although companies such as SF Express, Yunda Express, and STO Express have gone public, the industry has been stuck in a price war for a long time.

For example, in 2015, in Yiwu city of Zhejiang province, the delivery fee was 7.44 yuan (US$ 1.11) per item, and in the first half of 2019, it dropped to only 3.45 yuan (52 cents). Parcels under one kilogram had a fee as low as 1 yuan (15 cents).

In addition, most couriers, except SF Express employees, are paid using a piece rate only and have no minimal pay.

Source: Central News Agency, October 18, 2020