I built a small media center PC here and would like to ship it back to the US when I leave. I checked with China Post but the lady working there didn't seem too tech savy and just kept saying I couldn't ship anything with a battery. I tried explaining that my computer does not have a battery but she just frowned and shook her head.... So has anyone ever shipped a computer out of China using China Post? Thanks!
Actually, the real problem is probably going to be the hard drive. There are very heavy restrictions on shipping digital media out of China, meaning USB drives, DVDs and all manner of hard drives.
China Post is also known for its less than tender ways with packages. So if you slap a whole computer in a box, it's going to get really banged up on the way over.
Probably the best thing to do is to take out all of the key components of the computer, bring them back in your luggage, and slap them into a new housing when you arrive back home. You'll save on shipping, your components will be more likely to survive, and you can save yourself the hassle of wading through pages of regulations with the post office lady.
The problem is I am not going straight home. I am traveling and do not want to carry my computer with me.
Can anyone tell me what specific restrictions there are on shipping digital media from China? Will customs want to open and inspect any hard drives I try to ship? Or if they see a hard drive will they just toss it in a bin and not let it leave the country?
What about other courier services? If I ship my hard drives via FedEx, will they receive less scrutiny from customs or the same?
I'm pretty sure they just won't ship them, and that includes the international companies like FedEx. They're worried about sensitive information getting out of the country.
The other stuff should be fine as long as there are no batteries, but you still risk damage in shipment, and the hassle of explaining that they are actually allowed to be shipped.
You could always take the hard drives with you out of the country and ship them from your next stop on your travels.
If one considers that digital media also includes the old audio cassette tapes, then you can see that the application is wide.
My wife wanted to post some self recorded audio cassettes, destination and origin both in China, as was not allowed to do this. The prohibitions must be pretty comprehensive.
Laptops are cheap on sale, in the US anyways. I've got a cheap one doubling as gaming and media center. Or as suggested just pull your drives.
Or try a different China post and pack the computer disassembled and...
1) Point out there is no battery.
2) Tell them they're sample parts or it's broken and needs repairs at home. Story depends on your visa.
3) If you get trouble about the hard drives, just take those with you. They travel well.