Chinese internet users expect seamless ecommerce delivery, or else! - SupChina
Free

We're a new type of news publication

China news you won't read elsewhere.

Weekly Newsletter

Get a roundup of the most important and interesting stories coming out of China.

Podcasts

Sinica, TechBuzz China, and our 6 other shows are the undisputed champs of China podcasts. Listen now.

Feature Articles

Interactive, web-based deep dives into the real China.

Premium

Join the thousands of executives, diplomats, and journalists that rely on SupChina for daily analysis of the full China story.

Daily Newsletter

All the news, every day. Premium analysis directly from our Editor-in-Chief Jeremy Goldkorn.

24/7 Slack Community

Have China-related questions and want answers? Our Slack community is a place to learn, network, and opine.

Free Live Events & More

Monthly live conference calls with leading experts, free entry to SupChina live events in cities around the world, and more.

"A jewel in the crown of China reporting. I go to it, look for it daily. Why? It adds so much insight into the real China. Essential news, culture, color. I find SupChina superior."
— Max Baucus, former U.S. Ambassador to China

Free

We're a new type of news publication

China news you won't read elsewhere.

Weekly Newsletter

Get a roundup of the most important and interesting stories coming out of China.

Podcasts

Sinica, TechBuzz China, and our 6 other shows are the undisputed champs of China podcasts. Listen now.

Feature Articles

Interactive, web-based deep dives into the real China.

OR… for more in-depth analysis and an online community of China-focused professionals:

Learn About Premium Access Now!
Learn More
Minimize
Learn More
Minimize

Chinese internet users expect seamless ecommerce delivery, or else!

ecommerce

SupChina illustration by Derek Zheng

Hive Box, China’s largest smart locker company, offers its users a secure way to receive ecommerce deliveries, at convenient public places, when they are at work or away from home. This has become an essential service, especially in the wake of COVID-19, as more and more Chinese consumers rely on shopping online for everyday necessities.

But the company has been facing a boycott from customers after it put an end to a service that allowed casual users — as opposed to paying members — to store their ecommerce purchases for free. On April 4, in a move to increase membership sales, Hive Box announced that non-member customers could leave their deliveries in a Hive Box locker free of charge for the first 12 hours but after that, a fee of 0.5 yuan ($0.07) would be charged for every 12 hours. To avoid these fees, users can pay 5 yuan ($0.70) a month to become a Hive Box member.

The introduction of service fees follows Hive Box’s acquisition of its biggest smart locker rival. Hive Box itself is owned by China’s second-largest courier company, SF Expressstartup, and by last year had grown into “the world’s largest parcel machine operation company,” with more than 170,000 locker units in over 110 Chinese cities.

Last Friday, the company apologized, but that has done little to stop the online anger at the company, which is facing threats offline, too. Last week, the government agency that regulates China’s logistics industry launched an inquiry into the case and arranged a meeting (in Chinese) with senior executives from Hive Box, ordering them to “undertake social responsibilities, come up with a solution, adjust its pricing, and respond to reasonable requests from customers.” Meanwhile, more than 100 management committees of residential compounds in Shanghai have suspended their agreements with Hive Box.

What’s the business lesson?

Chinese consumers expect seamless ecommerce ordering, payment, and delivery as basic rights. Woe to companies that interfere with online shoppers’ convenience!

Share

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.