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Courier service takes client-friendly road to growth

By Zhang Zhouxiang | China Daily | Updated: 2017-11-02 07:11

Courier service takes client-friendly road to growth

Express-delivery tricycles with eight-digit registration numbers are seen in Beijing on Dec 2, 2016. [Photo/China Daily]

Editor's note: Before the "Double Eleven" (Nov 11) annual e-shopping carnival, some courier service providers have adopted measures to protect customers' information. To protect customers' privacy, the courier service providers have decided to hide part of the customers' information; and only a deliveryman using a special device fitted with QR code can scan the hidden part to get the address, cellphone number and name of the recipient. Will the move help better protect customers' information? Two experts share their views with China Daily's Zhang Zhouxiang:

More steps needed to prevent leaks

It's good that some express delivery companies have started hiding part of their customers' information from the cover of their parcels. But the problem is that "outsiders" who get access to customers' database, not discarded parcel boxes, are responsible for the majority of the leaks.

Unscrupulous traders can get customers' information either by purchasing e-information from certain insiders in the courier service industry, or by hiring hackers to break into the database of a delivery company.

The illegal selling of customers' information is so fierce that it has led to the establishment of a big profit chain. On Aug 26 last year, a former staff member of the Hunan branch of SF Express faced trial in Shenzhen, South China's Guangdong province, because he had made 360,000 yuan ($54,250) by selling customers' information.

Therefore, to prevent information leaks, express delivery companies need to take more measures than just hiding part of the customers' information. They need to strengthen in-house regulation so as to prevent insiders from leaking customers' information to make extra money, and upgrade their software security to make their database safer. Only in this way the courier service providers can curb the leak of customers' information.

Zhao Xiaomin, CEO of G.shuo Management & Capital, specializing in logistics

A welcome trend in the industry

Some people say the move will help better protect customers' information. But it is better news for the delivery companies than for the customers, because the leak of customers' information from an express delivery company can threaten its market value.

Therefore, the privacy rule may better protect both the customers and the companies and help the entire industry to grow in a healthier way. It is too early, however, to say the move will solve the customers' information leak problem, because many unscrupulous traders are eyeing the customers' information databank that express delivery companies have access to.

In fact, the information that people give to express delivery companies is more "valuable" than those they give to banks or real estate developers, because crooked traders can extract a lot of information from a customer's address, name, cellphone number and, especially, consumption habits, and use it to make money. That's why in the underground market, immoral traders are always looking to buy such information. Law enforcement officers need to take harsher measures to eliminate these profit chains in order to root out the illegal trade in personal information.

That express delivery companies have adopted the privacy rule self-willingly, and not to meet the requirement of any regulation, shows they are competing with each other to improve their services and, in the process, have vowed to protect customers' information. This is a positive trend in the industry.

And if this trend continues, the express delivery industry will graduate from the old style of development to a new, customer-oriented development sooner rather than later.

Yao Jianfang, a Hangzhou-based e-commerce analyst

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