All mobile and landline users must registerUpdated: 2013-09-02 09:48
A new policy requiring all landline and mobile phone users to give their real names went into effect on September 1, 2013 in China. Authorities say the regulations aim to reduce telecom spam and fraud, and they are much stricter than previous regulations. The impact is being felt by service providers to newsstands.
The regulations require new landline and mobile users to provide real-name identification when they sign up.
Telecom operators who do not comply with the regulations or fail to cooperate with inspections face penalties up to 30,000 yuan for each offense.
The same poliscy applies to purchases of wireless network cards.
Du Yonghong, Deputy Director, Market Division, China Unicom, said, "ChinaUnicom will set a higher threshold for our agents. The new agents are subject to stricter regulations which also includes clauses on real name registration and information protection. Those who break the rules face punishment and will no longer be able to run the services. "
A new policy requiring all landline and mobile phone users to give their real names went into effect today(Sunday) in China. [Photo / cntv.cn]
China's three telecom service providers said they have already asked for real names since a similiar policy was released in 2010. But the current policy seems to be much stricter.
"Do you have new sim cards?"
"I can't sell at the moment because of the real name policy."
"But you have a poster saying you have new sim cards?"
"That's old. I could sell it to you yesterday but not from today."
"If we sell it without asking for IDs, the sim cards can't be activated."
"When can you start selling again?"
"I've no idea. I got the notice today and decided to stop selling for a few days."
Some vendors say they stopped restocking when they heard the news. But those who want to continue selling have no idea of how to go through the registration process.
One thing is clear, unregistered users might face having their phones be shut off entirely. Old customers are also required to register.
The new regulation also includes punitive clauses to prevent companies misusing customers’ personal details.
The real-name registration is for real this time.
So if you want to get a new number, take your ID card with you, or your might face the prospect of living in the city without a phone.