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China Lost Millions of Cell Phone Users in 2020: Official Data

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China Lost Millions of Cell Phone Users in 2020: Official Data

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China recently issued conflicting sets of data for the number of cell phone and landline users in the country. But the data all reflect a net loss of millions of cell phone users, leading some to speculate whether the decline was due to the economic downturn, pandemic-related deaths, or something else all together. Today, nearly every Chinese person needs a cell phone to commute into major cities. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, authorities mandate citizens to input their health information into a cellphone app, which then generates a QR code that determines a person’s risk of getting the disease and thus, whether the person can pass through security checkpoints. The code is scanned for entering a residential compound, taking a bus or metro, visiting a grocery store, and so on. Thus, the drop in users is unusual given that there is a greater, not lesser, need for cell phones. “It’s …

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