A Tianjin lawyer has lost a three-month, precedent-setting court case against Internet portal Sina.com for shrinking the capacity of his free e-mail box from 50 megabytes to five. Late last month, the Beijing Haidian district court ruled against Lai Yunpeng, but the lawyer said he thought another judge might agree with him later. Mr Lai sued in September because he felt it was unfair that Sina.com, one of China's three biggest Internet portals, could shrink the mailbox after promising it would be 50 MB. He sued for breach of contract on September 16. 'If you promise, you can't just change. This is a simple case, a common problem. I didn't expect this outcome,' said Mr Lai, who has been a lawyer for two years. Sina lawyer Xie Guoming said the court had said the free service did not constitute a contract. However, he said Mr Lai reached his goal of raising his law firm's profile, sometimes by bringing journalists to court to boost his case. 'This kind of lawsuit should not happen again,' Mr Xie said. In August, Sina caused an uproar by announcing the mailbox size reduction and encouraging users to sign up for paid 'VIP' boxes, which were said to be more reliable. Sina has 25 million people using its e-mail services, and about 2 per cent have used the full 5 MB, according to company figures. In September, a district court judge told Xinhua that Sina upended its free-service promise, but he refused to say whether it was a breach of contract. Mr Lai demanded that Sina restore his 50 MB e-mail box and pay all legal expenses. According to Chinese law, Mr Lai need not pay Sina's legal expenses, Mr Xie said. But his e-mail box would not expand again either, he added.