Mike Lo is mad about lucky phone numbers, and loves it when they run in sequence, such as 123456, or include repetitions, like 8887878.

At one point, he amassed more than 300 smartphone SIM cards with numbers he fancied, but managed to whittle his hoard down to about 150. It is a hobby that costs him about HK$100,000 (US$12,890) a year to charge and renew contracts to keep the phonecards.

So he was shocked in January, when the government proposed making SIM card registration compulsory, with…

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