Major Chinese telecommunication China Mobile is rolling out a new system to restrict calls from abroad. The move comes as the government is allegedly tightening its grip on telecom fraud.
According to South China Morning Post, China Mobile users must confirm whether they would like to receive overseas calls by May 20.
It warns users who do not register would get blocked from receiving international calls and even from Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan.
The Hebei branch of China Mobile had previously told users that they would no longer get overseas SMS messages after May 5. Those who wanted to keep getting them had to apply separately.
Some mainland netizens show their frustration about the new order on Chinese social media Weibo. They ask whether the government wants to turn China into a second North Korea.
They complained that the infiltration of public power might have gone too far.
From restrictions on going abroad yesterday to blocking overseas communications today. The netizen mocks that tomorrow might come with an internet total cutoff.
The news also sparked heated debate in overseas Chinese circles, such as on Twitter. Some netizens believed that Beijing might be trying to prevent mainland people from getting outside information.
One blamed the government for using anti-fraud as a reason for the ban. The guy calls out CCP as the largest fraud group in China.
Another guy grumbles about the inconvenience this might bring when doing business with foreigners. He calls this a 20 years regression.