BEIJING, Sept. 1 (Xinhua) -- China on Wednesday put into practice a system requiring mobile phone users to provide their real names when buying a telephone number in a move to stop spam and telecom fraud.
As of Wednesday, new customers will have to register their identity card numbers or other valid documents when buying pre-paid SIM cards from mobile phone operators.
Foreigners living in China are also required to register with their passports or ID cards to subscribe.
For those who have already bought pre-paid mobile phone SIM cards, the operators -- China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom -- will renew their registration in a gradual way, but their mobile phone services will not be affected.
The official timetable for the renewed registration of current mobile phone users is still unknown as the telecommunication operators are still waiting for the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), the telecommunication industry regulator, to give details on the implementation of the system.
China's mobile phone users exceeded 800 million while fixed-line users numbered 300 million by the end of June, according to the MIIT figures.
Before the new system, post-paid mobile phone users and fixed-line telephone customers had to register with their real names when subscribing.
According to some industry analysts, operators will have to update information of about 300 million unregistered mobile phone users after the system takes effect.