It really surprised me how easy and anonymous the process of buying a SIM card was. This will never happen in USA or Europe after the terrorists attacks that took place in those territories. China has an unusual combination of significant censorship and yet great opportunities for anonymity.

You can also watch this video in Youtube or Sevenload

Follow Martin Varsavsky on Twitter:

No Comments

Wessel on September 9, 2007  · 

I live in the Netherlands and when I bought my phone with Orange provider, they did not ask me for anything. I paid by debit card so they could of have traced me if they wanted to, but I could just as easily have paid with cash. The thing is if you give your name and address you get 10 euros extra prepaid money. But otherwise you can stay anonymous.

3.0 rating

Killy_from_China on September 9, 2007  · 

Except that every phone call can be traced, can know from where you use it, can know what you say, what you write on your sms. And are sometime used to inform all the population not to go on the street (like what happen when they decide stopping the people demonstrating against Japanese after having encouraging it).

Interresting post in one blog about the recent strike against blog, website and web 2.0 in China.

3.0 rating

Andreas on September 9, 2007  · 

In Sweden there is absolutly no control over who buys a SIM card.

3.0 rating

Daniel Garcia Losada on September 12, 2007  · 

Martin I have bought sim cards in Spain from Movistar several times and nobody ever asked any personal information. There was a way of getting it in the form of a coupon you could send them with your personal info to get 6 euros credited to your account but it was optional. However I was surprised to learn that I have to give my details when I recently bought a Yoigo sim card but it wasn´t clear (and I didn´t bother to ask) if it was a dealer´s policy or a Yoigo policy.

3.0 rating

Jan Farrell on October 7, 2007  · 

Hello, I’m the founder of Liberalia. We own the Limo that was parked infront of your offices a couple of months ago! In our mobile phone shops, it is obligatory to give your details so that we can invoice you, but you could always invent the details! We have, for no, no obligation to let any of the 4 operators we distribute know who or when we sell SIM cards to! In a few months things are going to change, but it is certainly not only a Chinese exception! The truth is that their general control-freakiness would make one think that they would want at least a photocopy of your passport, like in Russia!

3.0 rating

Leave a Comment

Español / English

Subscribe to e-mail bulletin:
Recent Tweets