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Hi, thanks for your help sorting this out! I quite don't understand your point though:

- The Free Trade Zone seems to be related to customs (which, by the way, I was never asked to pay…).

- Even if China's postal system is heavily subsidized, there's a part of the shipping that is handled by non-chinese people (once the package is in the customer's country). So who would be paying for that part?

Customarily the seller pays customs which is a percent of the price IIRC, the free trade zones allow China and other countries to ship stuff in bulk to another country and stage it as well as offset the cost of customs until the time of purchase. So it allows them to pre-ship bulk items to domestic staging areas. This may account for how the item gets to your country, but yes is does not account for domestic shipping. China may have agreements in place for domestic rates in other countries but that I do not know. I do know the Special Economic Zones account for the ability to get items from China to consumers at extremely low cost per item.

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