China Requires ID for Cellphone Numbers

The New York Times reports on new registration requirements for cell phone users in China:

The Chinese government began Wednesday to require cellphone users to furnish identification when buying SIM cards, a move officials cast as an effort to rein in burgeoning cellphone spam, pornography and fraud schemes.

The requirement, which has been in the works for years, is not unlike rules in many developed nations that ask users to present credit card data or other proof of identification to buy cellphone numbers. The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said that about 40 percent of China’s 800 million cellphone users were currently unidentified. Those users will be ordered to furnish identification by 2013 or lose their service, according to The Global Times, a state-run newspaper.

A government center that deals with cellphone complaints said that the average Chinese cellphone user receives a dozen spam messages a week, and that three of every four users receive messages that involve fraud, China Daily, another state newspaper, reported Wednesday.

September 1, 2010 2:21 PM
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