China Has More Active Mobile Phones Than People

By Ryan Gandolfo, March 5, 2019

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According to Miao Wei, China’s minister of industry and information technology, 1.56 billion mobile phones were active in China by the end of February 2019, China Daily reports. The minister provided this statistic during a passage interview in between meetings of the National People’s Congress and the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, also known as the ‘Two Sessions.’

This eye-popping number surpasses the total population of the world’s most populous country, which is projected to be around 1.42 billion, based on 2018 estimates by the United Nations.

Data compiled by Statista shows the number of mobile phone users in China is projected to reach 1.1 billion in 2019 (63 percent estimated to be smartphone users), which would only account for roughly 70 percent of the mobile phones in use in China based on Miao’s estimate.

READ MORE: Infographic: China's Mobile Revolution


Image via Giphy

At first glance, the numbers don’t seem to add up, but the reality is that more and more people in China are using multiple mobile phones in their daily lives. According to several working professionals in Guangzhou, they use one phone solely for work while the other is kept for personal use. One woman we spoke with said that “maybe 30 percent” of her friends actively use more than one mobile phone, while another said that 50 percent of her network carry two phones.

And with an estimate of nearly 500 million more mobile phones in use than mobile phone users in China, as well as the country’s steady rise in disposable income, the idea of owning two phones to divide your work and personal life appears to be a popular trend. While phone companies have released mobile phone models with dual-sim functionality to accommodate these customers, people in China still seem to have a preference for owning multiple phones.

READ MORE: China's Mobile Revolution: 15 years in phones

[Cover image via Unsplash]

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