China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has announced that the GSM Association has approved China's Telecommunication Terminal Testing & Approval Forum to issue international mobile equipment identity numbers to Chinese mobile phones and more than 200 types of mobile phones have received the IMEI numbers.
IMEI is the only identification number for a handset and every handset has its unique IMEI number. Previous to this, the GSM Association only authorized the British Approvals Board of Telecommunications and the North America's PCS Type Certification Review Board to issue IMEI numbers to handset manufacturers.
Starting from the end of 2007, the MIIT, which was called Ministry of Information Industry at that time, has been committed to the coordination between the Telecommunication Terminal Testing & Approval Forum and the GSM Association to gain the authorization to issue IMEI numbers to Chinese handsets makers. After that, the TAF and the GSMA negotiated many times and finally reached an agreement, according to which the GSMA approves the TAF to issue IMEI numbers to Chinese-made TD-SCDMA and GSM handsets.
MIIT says to enhance the mobile phone IMEI management, it will further develop a relevant registration and verification system. Upon the completion of the system, it can not only meet the domestic demands for the issue of IMEI, but also can set up a international-standard IMEI management system, so as to provide technical support for the supervision over China's mobile phone market.