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ID needed for users of cell phones

[ 2010-09-01 11:42]     字号 [] [] []  
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Mobile phone customers will have to present ID when purchasing a phone number from Wednesday, in the latest campaign by the government to curb the global scourge of spam, pornographic messages and fraud on cellular phones.

Foreigners will also need to register with their passports or other ID in order to subscribe to mobile phone carriers.

Also from Wednesday, street newspaper stands will be banned from selling SIM cards, the Beijing Evening News reported.

The report said this was a temporary measure and after the owners were instructed on how to register customers they would be allowed to sell SIM cards again.

Subscribers who did not show ID when they registered before the new regulations came into effect are encouraged to do so, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) said.

By the end of June, there were about 800 million mobile phone users in China and as many as 320 million did not provide ID information, said Chen Jinqiao, deputy chief engineer from the China Academy of Telecommunication Research.

The new rules, of which fuller details will be disclosed soon, are part of the government's efforts to prevent spam, pornographic messages and rampant fraud through the network, said MIIT spokesman Wang Lijian.

A government-backed spam mobile message complaint center said on Aug 23 that mobile users in China on average received 43.3 messages weekly in the first half of this year and, on average, 12 of them were spam.

The center also said 74.5 percent of users surveyed received messages involving fraud. Many users were so annoyed that they said they would gladly spend 2.17 yuan (32 US cents) per month to block spam, the center added.


1. What will foreigners need to provide to subscribe?

2. How many mobile phone users are in China?

3. On average how many messages do phone users get in a week?


1. passport.

2. 800 million.

3. 43.3.


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

ID needed for users of cell phones

About the broadcaster:

ID needed for users of cell phones

Lee Hannon is Chief Editor at China Daily with 15-years experience in print and broadcast journalism. Born in England, Lee has traveled extensively around the world as a journalist including four years as a senior editor in Los Angeles. He now lives in Beijing and is happy to move to China and join the China Daily team.