Following India's recent block of Chinese-made shanzai mobile phones without an International Mobile Equipment Identity number in 2009, the Egyptian government has recently announced similar measures against these mobile phones.
The National Telecommunication Regulatory Authority of Egypt has approved a ban, stating that it will block anonymous users and Chinese-made mobile phones with the same IMEIs.
The word "shanzhai" or "shanzai", literally meaning "remote village" in Cantonese, has become a popular name for Chinese fakes and the slang now refers to anything that steals ideas or styles from already well-known products, personalities or concepts.
The authority said that the reason for making this decision is because Chinese shanzai mobile phones have affected the healthy development of the Egyptian mobile phone market. Many Chinese-made shanzai mobile phones have the same IMEIs as well-known international brand mobile phones and it is hard to track these shanzai mobile phones. Starting six years ago, many Chinese-made shanzai mobile phones swarmed into the Egyptian market and there are currently over two million Chinese-made shanzai mobile phones in the country.
In late 2009, India stared to ban the sales of shanzai mobile phones with an IMEI. Commenting on the moves of these countries, a Chinese mobile phone manufacturer said that it is good news to legally-run mobile phone manufacturers in China. International markets, especially some underdeveloped countries, prefer Chinese-made mobile phones, because of their low prices and powerful functions. However, a large part of these markets were occupied by shanzai mobile phones. The block of shanzai mobile phones will leave market space to Chinese mobile phone makers like Huawei, ZTE, and K-Touch who do produce legitimate phones with real IMEI numbers.