Vending Machines at Hong Kong Transit Stations Sell Rechargeable SIM Cards

hk_sim_card_vending_machine.gif
SIM Card Vending Machine
in Hong Kong.
[ Photo: PenguinSix.com ]

Andrew Leyden has published an article about a vending machine selling pay-as-you-go SIM cards in the Tsim Sha Tsui subway station on the Mass Transit Railway in Hong Kong. Andrew said:

Over here getting a SIM card (GSM or CDMA) is as easy as buying a stick of gum. What a nice
life in a world without locked mobile phones.

Anyone who has read the mobile phone handset unlocking article series on Operation Gadget should realize that I'm in favor of the freedom to use different SIM cards whenever and wherever necessary, but, I don't think that purchase of pay-as-you-go SIMs necessarily ought to be this anonymous. Earlier this year, we also reported on the apprehension of al Qaeda operatives who used rechargeable SIM cards purchased in countries that do not require identification. Switzerland banned this sales practice about the time that the apprehensions occurred.

I realize the post-handover Hong Kong is still a pretty freewheeling place. (I was last there in 1996.) Yet, I would not have expected that their government would allow this.