(ECNS) -- China's largest e-commerce website Taobao.com has suspended services of domestic cellphone numbers and payment plans, as the country intensifies the real-name registration system in the telecommunications sector.
Before the new rule, Taobao shoppers could easily buy a broad range of SIM cards, payment plans and devices meant to provide additional forms of wireless connectivity.
According to Taobao's new rule, many telecommunication services offered by domestic operators (including mobile virtual network operators) such as Internet-based phone cards and 3G/4G Internet data cards, will be removed from shelves. The new rule will take effect on Sept. 7.
A source from Alibaba, which operates both Taobao and its spin-off business-to-consumer (B2C) online retail Tmall.com, said the new rule only targets Taobao stores. Qualified vendors on Tmall.com can continue their business as usual.
Telecommunication firms in China have been implementing stringent rules regarding unregistered phone numbers to support the country's crackdown on phone scams and harassing text messages.