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March 8, 2011

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Firms told to give prize

A WEB user who won a prize worth 420,000 yuan (US$63,927) on a real estate website is entitled to her winnings, despite organizers trying to withhold them, a district court has ruled.

Shanghai Wiseland Real Estate Consulting Co Ltd and Shanghai Sofun Advertising Co Ltd had tried to go back on their word, said Changning District People's Court.

The companies launched a competition entitled "Posts for Apartments" on in September 2009. People posting on the BBS of would have chance to buy a serviced apartment with a 70 percent discount, it claimed.

The person who posted the most could buy an apartment valued at 600,000 yuan in a hotel in Nanhui area. The companies announced in November 2009 that the plaintiff, surnamed Qian, had won.

They informed Qian that she could buy an apartment for 180,000 yuan. The firms said the time to offer the prize to Qian hadn't been fixed because the developer hadn't completed procedures for sale.

A month later Qian was told the real estate couldn't be sold because the property administrative department refused to issue property certificates to individuals. Thus, the prize couldn't be paid.

Qian sued last December, seeking 420,000 yuan.

The court ruled that the organizers had confirmed their obligation by sending the notice. They should offer Qian a serviced apartment and Qian should pay 180,000 yuan.


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