March 25, 2020 | From The Epoch Times
The number of Chinese cellphone users dropped by 21 million in the past three months, Beijing authorities announced on March 19. Deaths due to the CCP virus may have contributed to the high number of account closings.
Cellphones are an indispensable part of life in China.
“The digitization level is very high in China. People can’t survive without a cellphone,” Tang Jingyuan, a U.S.-based China affairs commentator, told The Epoch Times on March 21. “Dealing with the government for pensions and social security, buying train tickets, shopping … no matter what people want to do, they are required to use cellphones.
“The Chinese regime requires all Chinese to use their cellphones to generate a health code. Only with a green health code are Chinese allowed to move in China now. It’s impossible for a person to cancel his cellphone.”
China introduced mandatory facial scans on Dec. 1, 2019, to confirm the identity of the person who registered the phone. As early as Sept. 1, 2010, China required all cellphone users to register phones with their real identification, by which the state can control people’s speech via its large-scale monitoring system.
Furthermore, Chinese people’s bank accounts and social security accounts are bundled with their cellphone plans; apps on Chinese phones check SIM cards against the state’s database to make sure the number belongs to the user.
Beijing first launched cellphone-based health codes on March 10. All people in China must install a cellphone app and register their personal health information. Then the app can generate a QR code, which appears in three colors, to classify the user’s health level. Red means the person has an infectious disease, yellow means the person might have one, and green means the person doesn’t.
Beijing claimed that the health codes are intended to prevent the spread of the CCP virus, commonly known as novel coronavirus.
21 Million Cellphone Users
China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) announced on March 19 the number of phone users in each province in February. Compared with the previous announcement, which was released on Dec. 18, 2019, for November 2019 data, both cellphone and landline users dropped dramatically. In the same period the year before, the number of users increased.
Analyzing the Numbers
The big question is whether the dramatic drop in cellphone accounts reflects the account closings of those who have died due to the CCP virus.
“At present, we don’t know the details of the data. If only 10 percent of the cellphone accounts were closed because the users died because of the CCP virus, the death toll would be 2 million,” Tang said.
The reported death toll in China doesn’t line up with what can otherwise be determined about the situation there.
A comparison with the situation in Italy also suggests the Chinese death toll is significantly underreported. Italy adopted similar measures to those used by the Chinese regime. The CCP virus death toll in Italy of 4,825 translates to a death rate of 9 percent. In China, where a much larger population was exposed to the virus, the reported death toll of 3,265 translated to a death rate of only 4 percent, less than half that reported in Italy.
Activities in the outbreak epicenter of Hubei Province seem to contradict the reported death toll in China. The seven funeral homes in the city of Wuhan were reported to be burning bodies 24 hours a day, seven days a week in late January. Hubei Province has used 40 mobile cremators, each capable of burning five tons of medical waste and bodies a day, since Feb. 16.
Lacking data, the real death toll in China is a mystery. The cancellation of 21 million cellphones provides a data point that suggests the real number may be far higher than the official number.
The Epoch Times refers to the novel coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19, as the CCP virus because the Chinese Communist Party’s coverup and mismanagement allowed the virus to spread throughout China and create a global pandemic.
(Excerpt from The Epoch Times. Article by Nicole Hao.)