Individuals seeking to register a new mobile phone number in Hong Kong will have to provide their real name and personal details under the proposal.
The legislation is expected to come into force on September 1, pending approval from the Legislative Council.
The mandatory registration will see users providing their full name, a copy of their identity document and date of birth to telecom companies when registering a new mobile number or extend the use of an old one.
Registrants aged under 16 should be endorsed by an “appropriate adult” such as a parent, relative or guardian.
Each user could register no more than 10 prepaid SIM cards with each of Hong Kong’s 30 or so telecom companies, while Corporate users will be allowed a maximum of 25 from each telecom service provider.
Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Edward Yau Teng-wah, said the new legislation will be implemented in two phases.
The first phase will allow telecom service providers a period of 180 days from September 1 to set up relevant systems to store information of the users registering for the SIM cards.
While the second phase will start on March 1 in 2022, with members of the public formally required to submit their personal information when registering for a new number at telecom companies.
By February 23 of 2023, all phone cards should be registered under real names.
Currently, only those on SIM service plans – or contracts – are required to register their real information. But users can buy prepaid data sim cards without registering.
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