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January 31, 2011

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Month ban for video scandal courier

A LOCAL courier has been fined 60,000 yuan (US$9,111) and ordered to halt operations for a month, after its staff were shown in an online video amusing themselves by kicking and throwing parcels.

The company, Pudong Jinqiao ShenTong Express Co, is the first in the courier industry to be punished by the State Post Bureau over the handling of customers' parcels.

Earlier this month, the bureau warned couriers that rough treatment of customers' parcels would see them severely punished for violating customers' rights.

The 80-second video quickly spread across the Internet, gaining notoriety and sparking public anger over the behavior of delivery staff.

In the clip, more than 50 delivery men in a large mail room are seen kicking the packages piled in front of them or throwing them up in the air to their colleagues.

They often failed to catch the packages, and instead watched them drop - leading to gales of laughter.

The State Post Bureau said last Friday that it had established that the footage was recorded at the Pudong company, a branch of the country's leading courier company, ShenTong Express Co.

The company was fined 10,000 yuan by the bureau for violating regulations. It was also fined 50,000 yuan and shut down for one month by its head office, ShenTong Express, according to the announcement.

Neither the Pudong company nor ShenTong could be reached for comment.

Ironically, a ShenTong official surnamed Zhang told Shanghai Daily on January 5 that the company had carried out investigations into the online video, as the packages seemed to bear the company logo.

At the time, Zhang said he believed the video may have been a "dirty trick" by a rival company.

Vendors welcomed the announcement. "The punishment will warn the others to treat their customers' goods with respect," said an online vendor surnamed Chen who owns a shop selling glass products on a major e-commerce platform.

Chen said customers often complained about broken products after receiving them from courier companies.

"Apparently, couriers ignore the 'With Caution' labels," said Chen.

Meanwhile, the State Post Bureau has ordered courier companies to ensure they have enough staff to cope with the coming Spring Festival.


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