25 Million Chinese Phones Blocked in India, what about Pakistan?

bannedIndian media has reported that as many as 25 million Chinese handsets were blocked in India today, which were without valid IMEI numbers. Move came after The Department of Telecommunications, India (DoT) instructed operators to block cellphones without a valid IMEI number.

By the way, not all Chinese handsets come without IMEI; rather these Mobile phones without an IMEI are typically low-end handsets from smaller Chinese phone manufacturers who cut costs by skipping the IMEI programming stage.

The issue of handsets without valid IMEI became a serious concern after such phones were allegedly used by terrorists, and the lack of unique IMEI made it impossible to prove who made or received specific phone calls as they couldn’t be traced to a specific handset.

Cellular operators in India offered such subscribers to either discard their handsets or bring them to official outlets of cellular companies to reprogram their IMEI numbers.

While on other hands, significant quantity of Chinese made handsets are available in Pakistan that come without valid IMEI. When we spoke to several phone sellers, they confirmed that Chinese handsets are usually duplicates of branded phones like Nokia, Samsung etc. They further told us that these Chinese handsets are fully functional however, they lack IMEI programming for several reasons, for instance Chinese manufacturers are usually not registered companies thus no IMEI range is allocated to them. It was further learned that IMEI series allocation happens only hardware type approval.

When we spoke to official of cellular companies, they were of the view that we are in the process of pre-requisites of such measures. they opined that we are yet to streamline Mobile connection ownership issues. “Let’s not expect any super natural thing in Pakistan regarding this, in near future”, commented an official.

Chinese manufactured handsets are source of headache for mobile phone manufacturers like Nokia, Samsung and others. Sales of branded phones has been impacted significantly after low-cost Chinese handsets penetrated into Pakistani and other developing markets.

We can’t rule out Chinese made handsets the major responsible for Nokia slipping to number 2 in phone business profits, after Apple became the most profitable phone company in the world.

Tech and telecom reporter with over 15 years of experience, he works as founder of ProPakistani.PK

  • The public and the officials might ignore but this wave will soon hit Pakistan too because of the fact that we have crossed a lot of thresholds and compromised to the security in a lot of ways.

    Soon the cellular companies will be forced to make this is a pre-req for the stability emerging technologies and their security which will cause a lot of outrage.

  • I think it’s unfair. If the govt can’t control prices and can’t control big players to bring prices to the reasonable range, then they shouldn’t do such things. It only hits poor people and that’s what the big players want.

    Big players like Nokia, Sony ericson etc should come up with products that are affordable by every range of community rather than making any authority take such actions against specific country / product.

    • Altaf:

      I dont understand what you mean “big players come up with affordable products. Prices vary according to functionality and quality of raw material. A Nokia original variant is available for 1800/- rupees yet ppl are buying replica phones ranging from 2500 to even 10,00 rs.

      Its not about rich and poor… these “replica” phones are illegal and should be blocked in pakistan asap.

  • Rich ppl don’t buy chinese handsets so it’ll affect the poor community badly. Gay hind :-d

  • Amir,

    We are living in a free economy era and have liberty to purchase whatever brand we like.

    Though, I am not a Chinese phone user but still feel pity for them who are using it. What objective can be achieved by blocking them? Amir, please shed some light on it. Just look in the local market, you will hardly find any phone which has IMEI number manufactured by (Nokia, Samsung etc,) and still associated with the guy who purchased it. If blocking them is inevitable then authorities must devise a process in which IMEI number should be added in the database along with the buyer information. And with every resale of the devise this data should be updated. I am posting above suggestions considering national security concern.

    Having said, we can achieve nothing but to add another achievement with certainly no profit at all. If authorities execute such action, I think this would be in response to business threat from Chinese phone to other big brands.


  • china ap ko low rates pe high base mobile de raha hai. phir bhi ap china product ko bad kehte ho.
    why????????????Ans me.03457944416

  • Why don’t we understand this is not issue of China or Chinese products. This IMEI issue is related to our National security.

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