More than 10 million new mobile-phone numbers starting with prefixes 4, 7 and 8 will start rolling out to the Hong Kong market this month, and speculators are looking to profit off of auspicious numbers.
The Office of the Communications Authority said on Monday that 10.6 million new numbers with the new leading digits would be made available, according to a government release.
There will be 6.3 million numbers starting with digit 4, 2.5 million starting with 7 and 1.8 million numbers starting with 8, and they will be used by the general public in conjunction with the existing mobile numbers with leading digits 5, 6 and 9.
The authority said the measures would help meet demands for new mobile-phone numbers until 2029. Hong Kong phone numbers have eight digits when used locally.
Numbers leading with 70, 71, 72, 73; 81, 82, 83 will be launched, Apple Daily reported. Numbers leading with 40 through 49 will be available, except for certain combinations, such as 4040 xxxx and 4444 xxxx, which will not be included in this batch of new numbers.
Speculators are looking for “special” numbers – combinations of auspicious digits – as they could sell at attractive prices.
An operator of a phone-number trading portal said those numbers classified as “special,” particularly those with digits 6, 8 and 9, could sell for more than a million Hong Kong dollars (around US$128,000).
Many Chinese people see six as a lucky number meaning “smooth” or “well-off.” The word “eight” has a similar pronunciation to the word for “wealth” in Cantonese and Mandarin, while the number nine stands for completeness and eternity.