Telecommunication authorities are requiring millions of mobile phone users in China to register with their real names when subscribing to services starting Wednesday, in an attempt to increase monitoring and crack down cell phone-based crimes.
But the move has raised concerns over security of personal data, and it is feared the new regulations will complicate the subscription process.
Ji Jinkui, a senior official with the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), confirmed to the Global Times Tuesday that all three telecommunication service providers - China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom - are required to start real-name registration for their new users beginning today. A specific plan for existing users is under discussion and is expected to take effect soon, Ji added.
Existing mobile phone users will be asked to register their real names with identity cards before 2013, or their numbers might be suspended, Chen Jinqiao, with the telecommunication economic expert committee at MIIT, told the Global Times Tuesday.
Prepaid SIM card buyers will also be asked to produce identity cards when making a purchase.
Read more at The Global Times