Chinese delivery company ordered to address leakage of 400,000 clients' personal information

Source: Global Times Published: 2020/11/25 16:58:41

Employees of YTO Express sort packages at a distribution center in Southwest China's Guizhou Province on November 11. Photo: IC

Chinese delivery company Yuantong Express (YTO) — one of China's largest couriering companies — was ordered to rectify its operations after some of its employees were found to have colluded with outsiders to steal and sell over 400,000 pieces of its clients' personal information, according to a release by Shanghai's cyberspace affairs office on Wednesday.

Shanghai authorities, including the cyberspace affairs office, summoned the Shanghai-based YTO management on November 17 and asked them to deal with the illegal behaviors of its employees in a serious way; publicize the information in a timely manner and establish a management system for bill data safety.

Police in Handan of North China's Hebei Province said that they previously cracked down on a gang of seven who stole personal information from a logistics company and sold them to areas with a high incidence of telecommunications fraud across the country and Southeast Asia through mobile chatting apps, according to media reports on November 16. The gang rented the accounts from several employees of the company at a cost of 500 yuan ($76) per day, logging into the company's system to commit the crime.

Over 400,000 pieces of personal information were involved, including addresses, names, and phone numbers of both senders and recipients, reports said. Each piece of information was sold for 1 yuan. 

Three of the gang's members were arrested in September, the police said. 

The Beijing News reported the logistics company was YTO and five YTO employees were found to have been involved in the case.

YTO responded to the case on November 17 with an announcement and stressed that it reported the incident to local police after it found some employees were suspected of being engaged in the illegal activity in late July.

It apologized for "the problems the case exposed" and said it will improve its security and risk control system.

Notably, information leakage is also a regular occurrence in other Chinese delivery companies such as Express Mail Service (EMS), Shentong Express, Deppon Express, and Yunda Express, according to a report by on November 20. Business owners, staff at delivery outlets, couriers and staff from logistics companies are reportedly involved.

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