Ebay officials worked to bring China and the USA together for little-publicized trilateral (eBay, China, USA) negotiations that opened the floodgates to about 100 million eBay items from China each year.  Ebay collects a sellers fee for each one.  The USA cannot collect what Americans pay for a China-USA shipment if an item's total cost is less than shipping alone for Americans.  Hundreds of thousands of items are even less than a dollar each, yet our Postal Service carries them to my door.  Tell the postman to turn around and walk the other way, and the cost of postage alone goes up to five times the item's entire cost.  Ebay collects a seller's fee.  Profits climb and executive salaries are high.  What does the American Postal System collect from China Post?  It won't matter that the USPS collects little provided you and I make up the difference.  It won't even matter if the American tax payer does not make up the difference, because red ink losses will eventually drive the USPS into the arms of UPS, DHL, FedEx. 

ePacket Svc from China created April 2011.  I don't know when trilateral negotiations began, but their completion was announced in June of 2010.  After information technology contractors had completed the integration of US and Chinese data networks, first class ePacket service from China was announced the following year, in April of 2011.  After little growth for three years, eBay's revenues jumped that year.

As a guy maintaining this little postage chart site, it had always puzzled me that 2011 was the year when, for no reason that I could see, the USPS stopped allowing Americans to buy First Class Small Package mailing labels online.  We couldn't ship anything electronically.  The timing never made sense.  Why make a change out of the blue all by itself and not wait as usual for the next cycle when all changes to the service structure are printed up and publicized?  The last rate change had been years earlier on 11May2009 and there was no rate change at all that year, none until 22Jan2012, so why take away on-line service now?  Looking for the answer was how I stumbled across the little-publicized trilateral shipping negotiations in the first place.

Meanwhile, the information technology contractors were done modifying our networks, databases and software protocols to fit China's.  China got our 1st class delivery system with tracking right to the door.  Americans got online purchase of 1st class small package service taken away from them.  (As of 2018, it's still gone.)   We worked to get China Post's information technology systems integrated with ours, then took tracking away from Americans.  (It came back four years later.) 

The out-of-the-blue timing made no sense.  The restrictive moves made no economic or business sense either because shipping volumes were rising with e-commerce and the USPS needed to enter that revenue stream, not be forced  out of it.  At the post office, eCommerce revenues had nearly doubled between 2008  and 2013.  The explosion in eCommerce and parcel delivery even flipped the USPS from thinking it had to drop Saturday deliveries to adding Sunday parcel service instead.   eCommerce on the Internet is the gift that lasts, after the damage of email, on-line bill payment, and the collapse of print subscriptions for news. 
The inability of anyone to buy USPS shipping for a small package online except eBay customers also struck a competitive blow against competing Internet auction companies (e.g. bonanza.com)  until PayPal changed its business practices and eventually separated from eBay (2015). 

Whoever saw the USPS success in online package shipping and took it way intended to hurt the USPS by cutting off revenue sources. 

A NICE PERK FOR EBAY PEOPLE.  Someone using my rate page noted that eBay customers buy the 1st Class Small Pkg mailing labels on a site controlled by eBay, and told me how to direct users here to go around the USPS ban and buy shipping labels themselves using the PayPal-eBay connection.  Media mail (book rate) and discounted parcel post services are also available to corporate customers online.  US citizens can only buy Priority Mail service online. 

J. I. Nelson
rev 2Feb2918