China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) announced the quantities of phone users in each province in February on March 19. Compared with the previous announcement, which was released on Dec. 18, 2019 for the data in November 2019, both cell phone users and landline users dropped dramatically. In the same period the year before, the number of accounts increased.
The number of cell phone users decreased from 1.600957 billion to 1.579927 billion, which is 21.03 million less. Landline users dropped from 190.83 million to 189.99 million, which is 0.84 million less.
In February 2019, the number increased. According to MIIT’s announcements on March 26, 2019 and Dec. 20, 2018, the cell phone users increased in February 2019 from 1.5591 billion to 1.5835 billion, which is 24.37 million more. The landline users raised from 183.477 million to 190.118 million, which is 6.641 million more.
According to China’s National Bureau of Statistics, the country’s population at the end of 2019 was 4.67 million larger than 2018, and reached 1.40005 billion.
The 2020 decrease in landline users may be due to the nationwide quarantine in February, during which small businesses were shut down. But the decrease in cell phone users can’t be explained in this way.
According to the operation data of all three Chinese cell phone carriers, cell phone accounts increased in December 2019, but dropped steeply in 2020.
China Mobile is the largest carrier, and holds about 60 percent of the Chinese cell phone market. It reported that it lost 7.254 million cell phone accounts in February, and 0.862 million in January. But in Dec. 2019, it gained 3.732 million more users.