Chunghwa Post chairwoman Lee Jih-chu (李紀珠) said yesterday that the company is scheduled to launch a new cross-strait “e-Packet service” in October to meet the demand for a fast cross-strait delivery service due to the booming online shopping market.
The service is one of the most significant results of a cross-strait meeting between Chunghwa Post and China Post Group in Beijing earlier this month.
Lee said the postal firm currently uses the rates set by the Universal Postal Union (UPU) for cross-strait packets, making it difficult to compete with fast delivery service operators in the private sector.
She said that the Taiwanese and Chinese postal firms had reached a consensus that the delivery charge should be set in such a way as to increase their competitive edge in the market.
Lee said the e-Packet service would only deliver cross-strait packets weighing below 2kg. Instead of using the rate set by UPU, she said the market would determine the charge.
Lee added that the packages could be examined by customs at a much faster pace than currently as both sides would be informed about a list of the applicable items.
Lee said the e-Packet service would greatly benefit companies that send bulk mailings.
Currently, the average weight of a cross-strait packet is about 700g and it costs about NT$250 per packet. The new service will lower the rate to NT$180 per packet.
In related news, Taiwan’s Postal Museum and China’s National Post and Postage Stamp Museum are scheduled to hold a joint stamp exhibition in Taipei in October, featuring valuable stamp collections from China, as well as the antiques related to the Chinese postal service during the Qing Dynasty.
Lee said the meeting between the two companies also produced other significant results.
China Post Group agreed to put an icon for Chunghwa Post’s PostMall on its shopping Web site, through which Chinese customers can purchase Taiwanese products.
Some of the most popular Chinese items would also be made available for purchase on PostMall in Taiwan as well.
Both companies plan to set reasonable delivery charges for these goods to expand their online shopping markets, she said.
The Postal Savings Bank of China has also agreed to work with Chunghwa Post to allow direct wiring of Chinese yuan without having to have the money exchanged first into US dollars.
“The Postal Savings Bank of China has about 46,000 branch offices and approximately 300,000 employees. Chunghwa Post also has many branches nationwide. If both sides can take advantage of these resources, we can jointly provide more convenient cross-strait financial services to our customers,” Lee said.
Lee also received a positive response from China UnionPay chairman Su Ning (蘇寧) about the possibility of developing a co-branded card.
UnionPay is China’s only bank card organization.
Lee said that people holding such a co-branded card would be able to withdraw money from the ATMs owned by UnionPay or use the card to shop when traveling in China.
She added that Chunghwa Post is also applying to become a qualified foreign institutional investor in China, which would allow it to invest in the yuan. Lee said the postal firm had previously mainly invested in markets in Europe and the US, as well as in US dollars. To further diversify risk, she said the postal firm has begun to invest in some emerging economies and other currencies.
The investment in yuan would be capped at US$200 million, which would only account for less than 1 percent of Chunghwa Post’s overseas investments.