China grants telecom pricing autonomy

Updated: 2014-05-10 10:11


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BEIJING - Chinese authorities freed up telecom fees and, from Saturday, all operators in the sector can make pricing decisions on their own.

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) and the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) made the announcement in a circular on Friday.

Telecom companies can freely design service packages and price them based on consumer needs and market situations as long as the pricing abides by the law and regulations, according to the circular.

Companies are asked to make simple and clear descriptions of their service packages, including charges of each service and how subscribers will be charged. They are prohibited from exaggerating their services and misleading consumers, and they are encouraged to provide special offers to low-income subscribers.

China has three major telecom providers: China Mobile, China Unicom, and China Telecom and consumers frequently complain about poor service and high charges. In one typical case, mainland consumers were angered with China Mobile for offering much cheaper packages in Hong Kong, where competition is fierce.

Wen Ku, director of telecom development at the MIIT, said granting telecom companies pricing autonomy would increase competition and improve efficiency.

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