Wang Lijian, a representative from China's Ministry of Information Industry, has told local media that rules related to the mobile phone real name system are expected to come out within this year.

In the past, some users could receive a mobile phone account without registering their real names. Under the rules, Wang says a large number of existing mobile phone users in China may be asked to re-register their phones in order to comply.

The new rules will include the Communications Short Message Service Management Measure which was jointly made by the Ministry of Public Security, Ministry of Information Industry and State Council Information Office.

However, the new rules have already caused disputes before their formal start. Some proponents say that this will help fight crimes committed with mobile phones. Others are worried that the real name system will bring inconvenience or even harm users' privacy.

In Shanghai, where the mobile phone real name system has already begun, telecom operators are asked to sign a "privacy protection" agreement with users before they reach a final service agreement.

There are more than 400 million mobile phone users in China, of which about 200 million are prepaid service users and a considerable part of them have not registered with their real name.

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