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February 25, 2012

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Customers of couriers to provide ID

PEOPLE sending packages via some major courier companies in the city are now required to provide identity details, under rules introduced due to safety concerns.

Couriers with YTO and ZTO Express now take customers' ID card or passport details, officials said yesterday.

"The information - primarily name and ID card or passport numbers - will be kept on our customer database," said Ye Jian-qing, manager of ZTO's Lujiazui branch.

Recipients are not required to provide ID, he said.

ZTO will extend the regulation across the country after introducing it in Shanghai.

Ye said the measure was mainly due to safety concerns to prevent prohibited, inflammable and explosive material being delivered.

Concerns over privacy

However, the new rule has prompted concerns over privacy and how workable it is.

"Buyers at my online store may not want others to know where they have been buying," said a Shanghai online store owner, surnamed Xu. She was worried that the regulations could affect business.

And a receptionist, surnamed Hou, at the Shanghai office of a foreign company, said the rule caused her inconvenience.

She said she had to call couriers for many of her colleagues, and under the new regulations had to take their ID cards or passports, then return them.

Couriers also said the rules made their lives more difficult.

"It's hard to carry out the regulations, as some customers think it's troublesome to sign their names, let alone show their identity cards and register their information," said a courier, surnamed Xu, with Shanghai-based Shentong Express.

This is one of two new security measures introduced by local couriers within a week.

Since last week, couriers have been told to examine the contents of parcels they receive from customers.

These stricter regulations come after a man in the southern city of Guangzhou was severely injured in a blast from a package containing explosives delivered to him on February 6.

These measures preempt similar tighter national regulations next month.


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