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China: Guangzhou Post Office Insists on U.S. Addresses in Chinese

Posted: 2008-02-22
From: Mathaba
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What would happen if an African tried to send a parcel home from China?


A Post Office in Guangzhou City, Guangdong, China is sending Chinese citizens with letters or packets to U.S.A. away if the post office workers have not heard of any particular city in the United States, Mathaba has learned.

A citizen sending a small parcel to an individual at a certain house number on a certain street in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, USA 19971 was sent back to their far-away home because the Post Office staff said they need the name of the city and did not think Rehoboth Beach is a city.

In a further twist, our reporter was told that the addresses need to be translated into Chinese. Evidently the great national Post Office of the People's Republic of China is staffed by idiots who decide that if they do not know a certain street in the the United States, an address is not valid.

Worldwide -- with the now possible exception of China -- the postal system works on the basis that any foreign country name is sufficient for sending a letter to that country, and usually the name of that country should be readable in the local language (translating USA to Chinese for example) but then the post office of that destination country will be responsible for mail routing to the city, village, hut or other final address, and may or may not make use of assistance such as Post Codes (ZIP codes).

Then only the local post office and mail delivery man will know about the existence of a particular street and house number, and if that does not exist, it will be returned to sender. However, now in China it seems Post Office workers are no longer instructed on that basis, but that they have to translate entire addresses to Chinese, or know of the existence of the final destination before accepting parcels.

In the case of the address in Delaware, it was complete with dotted i's and crossed t's, replete with ZIP code, individuals name, house number, street, town, state and country. Yet the sender had been told that "Rehoboth Beach" in DE 19971, USA, was not a known city. Perhaps it is time to install Internet terminals and allow China's Post Office workers to Google addresses for verification, however, this would not solve the issue of addresses in outlying villages in Africa without a presence on Internet search engines.

This news begs the question that with over one million addresses in the United States, is it the job of Chinese postal workers to know each address exists or not, and what level of intelligence the mass of Chinese population at lower levels has sunk to - it is a scary thought that the world population growth has resulted in the current world order of fewer intelligent people misleading every greater numbers of stupid people.

One can imagine that a parcel addressed to Mr Babalola, 4th Hut Left of Big Bush, Omatinobanasibou Village, Burkina Faso, Africa would be refused outright by this Guangzhou Post Office because the worker may not know of the existence of Africa, let alone the country Burkina Faso, and insist on knowing also whether there is in fact a hut at the said location.
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