Across China, one can have anything delivered fast. Last year, Chinese people spent an average of RMB 287 ($42) on courier services, says an industry report released by the State Postal Bureau on June 24th. Shipping parcels around for Chinese consumers is generating a fortune for entrepreneurs: the surge in shares of SF Express—China’s biggest courier service by revenue—has made its founder Wang Wei, once a delivery boy, the country’s third-richest man. Wang and five other package delivery billionaires in the nation have a combined wealth of around $47 billion, according to Bloomberg Index.

Although Chinese people are getting more parcels to their doorsteps each year—23 parcels per person throughout 2016, up from eight the previous year—the pace is slowing down after years of red-hot growth. The state report reveals that the nation’s express delivery services handled a total of 13.91 billion parcels from January to May this year, with growth rate dropped to 30.3% YoY compared to last year’s 56.7%.

Over the past decade, courier companies have benefited from the e-commerce boom led by Alibaba. The cooling of express delivery is attributed to the slowdown of retail e-commerce sales, some argue (in Chinese). According to global consultancy McKinsey & Co, the growth of e-commerce gross merchandise volume in China is expected to slow to 19% this year, compared with the staggering 74% rise in 2011.

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Rita Liao

Telling the uncommon China stories through tech. I can be reached at ritacyliao [at] gmail [dot] com.