Edited by: Lish
Some areas of Chinese phone users have to do an additional registration to receive international phone calls and messages, including calls and messages from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan. The authorities explain that this is to “prevent overseas phone fraud”. However, analysts believe that this is to keep track of the relationship between people in the country and overseas.
Recently, several netizens in Zhejiang claimed that they received a text message from China Mobile: According to the requirements of the higher authorities, to prevent overseas telephone fraud and protect customers’ property, Zhejiang Mobile will close the access to international, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan calls by default. If users need to receive calls from these areas, they must register.
In an interview with Radio Free Asia, current affairs commentator Lu Nan said he believes the official move by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has an obvious purpose. He said, “This is tantamount to forcing you to open international phone calls. First of all, to minimize the loss of foreign exchange so that people in the country do not leave the country in bad faith and preserve communist China’s precarious foreign exchange reserves. Secondly, to collect information on personal relationships with overseas and know who has opened international phone calls to receive the function.”
According to Lu Nan, the fact that residents of communist China have applied to the telecommunication authorities for access to international telephone services means that these people are exposed as having contacts outside the country. It facilitates continued targeted surveillance of nationals by the authorities.
In an interview with Guo Tao, a Jiangxi, China-based media personality, said, “This is to prepare for the next bigger move, control and block the country, and close the network. These SMS and phone control are the only primary means of measure. They are sealing control step by step. The most important thing is to block it completely.”
The authorities currently control chat software in communist China, and criticism of the government has become a no-go area.
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