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Friday, Jul 19, 2024

Real-name SIM cards hit 12m

Some 12 million prepaid SIM cards have been registered under real names by users ahead of the deadline tomorrow, says director-general of communications Chaucer Leung Chung-yin.
Telecom companies will extend their service hours today to help those registering in the last minute.

Unregistered prepaid SIM cards purchased before last March - when the application period began - will be deactivated from Friday as required by related regulations.

"We strongly urge people to register before the deadline so as to keep their SIM cards active," Leung said.

He said the registration process has been smooth, with various channels provided by telecom service providers and support service spots at 18 designated post offices and 25 MTR stations.

Unregistered prepaid SIM card users can complete online registration via telecom service providers' app or website. In-person registration is also available at providers' outlets.

Those seeking assistance should bring their HKID card, a mobile phone capable of receiving SMS notifications and the SIM card to be registered.

As the deadline approaches, Leung said service hours will be extended at telecom operators' branches and some post office spots.

Although unregistered prepaid SIM cards will be suspended from Friday, users could still reactivate them after registering.

"As long as the prepaid card is within the effective period and has remaining value in it, services will resume once the user finishes the registration process," he said.Leung said the authority has noticed that some online agencies have been providing fake ID registration services. He reminded people that it is a crime to use a fake ID or another person's ID.

"We hope people do not break the law just to withhold their personal information," Leung said.

The program was introduced under the Telecommunications (Registration of SIM Cards) Regulation which took effect on September 1, 2021. The Commerce and Economic Development Bureau said it is designed to plug loopholes arising from anonymity by facilitating the detection of crimes involving SIM card use.

The regulations also limit the number of prepaid SIM cards each individual and corporate user can have from each telecom operator, with the cap set at 10 and 25, respectively.

From March 1, real-name registration will be required for newly purchased prepaid SIM cards before being activated.

Users can contact service providers to cancel registration in case of transferring the SIM card to another person.

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