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It was an era in which paging device manufacturers made a great deal of money from thousands of millions of Chinese wearing pagers, a wireless telecommunications device that received and displayed numeric or text messages.
The paging system marked the start of people utilizing mobile communications at a time when fixed line telephones dominated. In 1987 for example, mobile telecommunication was still regarded as a sensitive industry that raised national security issues and even ideological debates. By the end of 1987, the number of mobile phone users only numbered about 700 in China.