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| | INDEX | REFERENCES | LINKS | | Postal History of Imperial China


China was one of the earliest countries to begin a communication system. About some 2,500 years ago, China already had an efficient postal system at that time. Marco Polo described that in his day there were 10,000 post stations 25 miles apart from the next with 300,000 horses to carry couriers throughout the Empire.

At the beginning of the 15th Century some private postal carriers (LETTER HONG / 信行) originated in Ningpo / 寧波. They gained popularity through the years based on their reliability and good reputation. However the private mail delivery networks developed only on those paying routes, ˇ°word massageˇ± and notes carried by fellow villagers were the main communication method for many Chinese.

A series of modern post offices operated by foreign powers began to rival in the mid 19th Century that infringed the sovereignty of China. For various reasons, including a lack of deep-water-capable vessels, China could not provide service to carry mails overseas on a regular base.

Major postal setups operated in China around 1896 (22nd Year of Kuang Hsu)

| | INDEX | REFERENCES | LINKS | | Postal History of Imperial China