On November 16, 2015, the Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China published a draft Regulation for Couriers (the “Regulation”) and requested public comment on the Regulation. Interested parties have until mid-December 2015 to submit comments on the Regulation. The Regulation comes at a time when courier services and online shopping are growing steadily in China. Under the Regulation, the sender of a parcel will be required to fill in his or her real name and address, the telephone numbers of both the sender and the recipient, as well as the name, quantity and nature of the object being couriered.

The courier company would then be required to verify that information. The courier company also would be required to refuse orders with false information on the waybill. If a courier company fails to check the waybill or accepts parcels with false information on the waybill, it may be subject to a maximum fine of RMB 10,000 (approximately $1,586).

The Regulation also would require courier companies to regularly destroy waybills to protect client personal information. In addition, courier companies will be prohibited from illegally selling or leaking client personal information they collect in the course of providing services. In cases of actual or potential leakage, destruction or loss of client personal information, courier companies would be required to take immediate remedial measures and report the incident to the local postal administration authority.

A courier company that breaches the foregoing obligations may face administrative penalties including the issuance of a warning, confiscation of illegal income, a maximum fine of RMB 50,000 (approximately $7,840) and possibly even revocation of its operating license.

In addition, if a courier company opens parcels without permission, hides, destroys, sells or illegally inspects parcels, it will be subject to a maximum fine of RMB 200,000 (approximately $31,360). In exceptional circumstances, its operating license also may be revoked.