Chinese carriers won’t clear unused data traffic at month end: Report

Three major Chinese telecom operators will automatically transfer consumers' unused data traffic to the following month, a move that echoes top officials' calls to lower telecom-related tariffs.

Starting October 1, China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom will officially launch a new service to transfer consumers' unused monthly data traffic to the following month, according to a Sina News report on Wednesday, citing internal files from the Big Three operators of the country.

However, the unused monthly data traffic is limited to be transferred to the following month only, and will be consumed in priority in the following month, Sina News specified.

The new service will automatically be applied to current plans from October, and the three Chinese telecom operators are expected to announce detailed plans by the end of the month, said the report.

In May this year, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang slammed the expensive but low-quality mobile internet service offered by the major telecom operators, demanding them to lower costs and lift service quality.

The Big Three then started offering new plans, including some half-year and full-year data traffic packages, which failed to please the public as consumers believed them to be gimmicky.

The new service, once put into practice, will erode profits of Chinese telecom operators, particularly China Unicom and China Telecom, according to Sina News, citing an independent telecom analyst.

Even if it is believed to be a common practice for telecom operators to clear unused monthly data traffic, Chinese consumers have long complained about the status quo. A lawyer in 2013 even sued China Mobile over the matter, who regarded it as a violation of his properties and an unfair trade between consumers and the telecom operators.

A later report indicated that the lawyer lost the case in a subsequent decision of a Chinese court.