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‘Low-Cost’ SIM Cards Reach Astrological Prices in Mandalay

17 May 2013

Burma’s cellphone “lucky draw” last month—where SIM cards were handed out in a lottery for US $2—was widely criticized. Since then, a black-market industry has sprung up around the 350,000 cards, with some fetching hundreds of times the original price. In Mandalay, Eleven Media reports, some SIMs sold for as much as 500,000 kyat (about $555), due to the numbers being “beautiful.” Numbers with astrological significance, including 7, 9 and number sequences, fetch the highest prices. “I am also seeking a number which has numbers the same like my date of birth to buy,” a Mandalay resident said.