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Thursday, September 02, 2010

China requires ID to buy mobile phone numbers

PhilStar: The new regulation probably won't impact Chinese dissidents, many of whom already have their phones closely monitored, but it could help police track down ordinary people who take part in protests, Wang said. China has seen a growing number of protests sparked by labor disagreements, anger over pollution or other issues.

The ID requirement is also raising new privacy concerns and will likely upset some customers unwilling to give personal information to vendors and telecom companies

for fear it will be resold, said Duncan Clark, managing director of BDA China Ltd., a technology market research firm.

China has more than 800 million mobile phone numbers already in use. The Global Times newspaper reported Wednesday that about 320 million of those were purchased without real-name registration. They will have to be reregistered by 2013 or could be suspended, it said. Read more...

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