Beijing’s municipal government announced today nine measures to support the development of the delivery industry, including designated courier accommodations, state-owned media Beijing Youth Daily reported today (in Chinese). The set of policies aims to enhance the working conditions for deliverymen, while also encouraging the development of the industry.

Local authorities unveiled the measures to regulate the country’s booming express delivery industry in a government meeting, presided over by Beijing’s deputy mayor Wang Hong. Beijing’s e-commerce industry has grown from an annual turnover of RMB 12 billion (around $1.78 billion) in 2010 to RMB 263 billion (around $39 billion), based on data from the Beijing Municipal Commerce Bureau. It now accounts for 22.4% of total retail sales in the city.

This astounding growth was predicated on a flexible labor market, which left many workers exposed. Delivery drivers—usually men—are generally hired on a temporary basis by logistics and lifestyle companies without legal safeguards. The government has decided to promote employer compliance to protect the low-income workers, in accordance with wider labour regulations.

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Jill Shen

Jill Shen is Shanghai-based technology reporter. She covers Chinese mobility, autonomous vehicles, and electric cars. Connect with her via e-mail: jill.shen@technode.com or Twitter: @yushan_shen