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China lets local telcos set own prices

Chinese government allows the country's three state-run telcos to determine their own pricing for mobile phones and services, as long as these are deemed fair and legal to customers.
Written by Eileen Yu, Senior Contributing Editor

The Chinese government has given the country's state-run telcos more room to determine their own pricing for mobile phones and services, as it looks to introduce more free-market principles in the industry. 

Prices now can be set by market forces as long as these are deemed legal and fair to customers, said China's Ministry of Industry and IT and the National Development and Reform Commission in a joint statement, reported Wall Street Journal. The new policy, which took effect over the weekend, further stated that telcos must not provide excessive discounts or post misleading advertisements.  

The pricing policy applies to general telecom services, voice services, text messages, and broadband. The Chinese market is led by three state-run telcos: China Mobile, China Telecom, and China Unicom

The ruling Chinese Communist Party last year pledged to let the market have a bigger role in the economy and state-run organizations, including allowing market forces to determine prices for various services such as gas, oil, power, and water. The government in December issued 11 virtual telco licenses to private companies, allowing them to resell telecommunication services running on the infrastructure of the country's three main carriers. 

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