New law requires real-name registration for SIM card owners

This is intended to prevent and detect crimes related to the use of prepaid SIM cards.

The Chief Executive in Council has approved a measure that will require SIM card owners to register their real name to prevent and detect telecommunication-related crimes.

“We conducted a seven-week public consultation in January this year to gauge the public's views on the implementation of the Registration Programme for SIM cards to be used for person-to-person communications,” Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau said.

Yau added that during the consultation, more than 70% of the stakeholders have expressed support for the new telecommunications regulation.

“Having considered all feedback received, we have proposed some refinements, including relaxation of the cap on the number of registrable Pre-paid Sim cards and extension of the transitional periods for the Registration Programme,” he also said.

Individual user may have up to 10 PPS cards, up from the only 3 previously; whilst corporate users can register up to 25 PPS cards.

The registration programme will be implemented in phases. Telecommunication operators will have 180 days for the first phase of the programme, higher than the original proposal of 120 days.

For the second phase, operators have 360 days, up from 240 days. This is expected to begin on 1 March 2022.

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