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The local government in the popular coastal resort of Sanya in southern China's Hainan province has decided to introduce a centralized digital food ordering system to prevent the city's seafood restaurants from overpricing.
Seafood restaurants with 15 or more tables will be required to use iPads to process their orders, Southern Metropolis Daily reported on Monday, citing a government policy.
Smaller restaurants will be asked to use Personal Digital Assistant devices, which are cheaper than iPads, according to the policy.
The iPads and PDAs, with a specially installed program, will be connected to cashier computers at the restaurants. If the price of seafood ordered by customers is higher than the government ceiling, an alarm will sound on the cashier computers and it will not print out the check.
The move comes after a number of restaurants in Sanya reportedly ripped off consumers earlier this year, triggering a spate of complaints.
The iPads, with training and software fees, will cost 6,000 yuan ($950) each. But the local government said it will offer up to 9,000 yuan in subsidies to each restaurant.
The government is installing the system and will run it on a trial basis from next month.