cellular phones


cellular phones
The cellular phone (yidong dianhua, or shouji as it is known colloquially) has become both a compulsory fashion accessory and an alternative to fixed-line telephony in China. Shouji were initially made popular by businessmen from Hong Kong and Taiwan during the mid 1980s. They soon became known as dageda, although this term is now rarely used. Shouji usage is most prominent among men between the ages of thirty-one and forty.
However, market analysts predict that falling prices of wireless technology enabled by Wireless Application Protocol (WAP), together with localized content provided by Chinese Internet Content Providers (ICPs), will make the technology more appealing to the female and youth markets, replicating consumer patterns elsewhere in Asia. The WAP shouji is expected to outpace the sales of PCs in China.
A more ubiquitous but rapidly diminishing personal communications device is the bibiji, also known as chuanhuji, or CALL-ji. A 2000 survey of residents in twenty-two cities found that 42.7 per cent of families owned a cell phone while 60.4 per cent used pagers. According to the Ministry of Information Industry (MII), the number of shouji users in China had reached 139.9 million by November 2001. The cellular phone industry is regulated by the MII, which in 1999 subdivided the basic telecom service industry into four stateowned companies: China Telecom, China Mobile, China Satellite and China Unicom. Of these China Mobile and China Unicom are the main operators, and Kejian, Bird and Hai’er rank as the bestselling domestically made appliances.
MICHAEL KEANE

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.

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