Caller-pays system still far away

By Li Weitao (China Daily)
Updated: 2006-12-19 10:00

Chinese regulators and cellular operators yesterday refuted reports that they are ready to introduce a caller-pays charging scheme for mobile phone calls as early as next month.

The Ministry of Information Industry denies a media report that it will introduce a caller-pays system for cell phone users. [China Daily]

The South China Morning Post, citing an anonymous source from the Ministry of Information Industry (MII), yesterday reported that regulators and operators had made a decision to adopt the caller-pays approach, which could be implemented or phased in as early as January 1.

Xi Guohua, vice-minister of the MII, said: "We have discussed the caller-pays system for years, but we have yet to make a decision."

"Even if it is introduced, it will not be implemented nationwide," he told China Daily.

A spokesperson with China Mobile Communications Corporation, parent of Hong Kong-listed China Mobile Ltd, said he has not heard of such a policy.

Currently, both callers and receivers in China are required to pay for mobile phone conversations, a focus of criticism from consumers.

Increasing complaints have put regulators under pressure in the past 10 years to allow a switch to the caller-pays approach, or the so-called "one-way billing" scheme.

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