China / Society

Cryptic text message about car lottery puzzles Beijingers

( Updated: 2012-12-24 20:30

Many Beijing residents are still perplexed by a municipal government office's cell phone text message concerning the new-car lottery, and many suspect the system had a breakdown, The Beijing News reported.

Many applicants on the waiting list of the lottery system received a message on Dec 23 that said: "Verification code: (six numbers)" with the name of the office at the end of the text.

The six-digit number is useless as a verification code, as the online system is a four-digit combination of numbers and alphabets.

The office responded on Dec 23 that its sending the "verification code" is a service of the system and will not affect the applicants.

Many netizens were not convinced by the explanation and suspected that something in the system went wrong.

Beijing introduced the lottery system last year to limit new-car license plates to 240,000 a year to cope with traffic congestion. The number of vehicles in Beijing has exceeded 5 million, according to government figures.

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