No, a Lucky Beijing Phone Number Was Not Sold for ¥120 Million

By Bridget O'Donnell, April 19, 2017

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Fake news strikes again!

Over the weekend, various blogs in China reported that an extremely lucky 10-digit phone number was auctioned off to the tune of RMB120 million (USD17.45 million).

The number in question, 1888888888, was sold to a Shantou company, reports said. The sale was said to have set the record for most expensive number ever auctioned, and all proceeds were allegedly donated to charity.

Eight is considered a super lucky number in China, as it symbolizes prosperity. 

But in the words of Lady Gaga, you're not gonna reach this telephone because the viral story was all just one big hoax. 

Beijing Mobile, a subsidiary of China Mobile that owns the digits, told Xinhua the number is currently not in use. (Indeed, when That's tried to reach the number, we received an automated message saying it was "invalid.")

And that multi-million yuan auction? Beijing Mobile says it never took place.

That said, businesses and wealthy individuals have been known to throw down thousands of renminbi for auspicious numbers in the past. In 2001, one number sold for USD40,000 in Henan. And in 2003, a Beijing man reportedly bought the number 1333333333 for USD250,000.

This is just another reminder that if a China story sounds too outlandish to be true, that's probably because it is.

Previously in fake China (and Asia) news:
• Teenagers walk their pet cabbages to cope with depression
• China bans interracial marriages
• 'Harambe McHarambeface' wins a gorilla naming contest at a Zhejiang zoo
• Chinese man sues his wife for having ugly children
• Beijing boss forces female employees to kiss him
• North Koreans forced to adopt Kim Jong-un's hairstyle

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