Legendary consumer advocate Wang Hai has lost his case against China Netcom (CN), where the former said the telecom giant engages in discriminatory pricing policies.

Beijing Xicheng District People's Court ruled in Netcom's favor and said the company has the right to ask for upfront payment from non-Beijing residents.

Wang Hai accused China Netcom of discriminating against non-Beijing residents by asking for a prepaid fee from them for fixed-line phone installations.

In China, ciitzens have a "hukou" which makes them a resident of a particular city. When a non-resident wants to use government or private commercial services, they often must go through more obstacles than normal residents of a particular area to have those goods.

China Netcom says that because of the constant flow of migrant workers, it is difficult to collect telephone fees, so advance payment is necessary to protect the company's interests.


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