Sin Kay Dim
The goods they sell sound like stock codes and price quotes: “66XX9999, $12000; 66XX9986, $98...” Even if the first 6 digits are the same, two mobile phone numbers can fetch very different prices.
At night on Ap Liu Street, in between the stalls selling second-hand goods and the shops selling electrical appliances, Mr. Cheung’s small shop “Sin Kay Dim” has thousands of phone numbers to sell. The numbers came from purchasing stored-value cards in bulk. Ever since eight or nine years ago, when it became possible to retain one’s mobile phone number when changing service providers, the trade for desired phone numbers started.
These shops however are part of a big chain, and their business is complicated and big. It is rumoured that all small shops on Ap Liu Street are overseen by one boss, and this boss is only a university student! However Mr. Cheung was not at liberty to tell us anything more. We who are outsiders are like the blind man feeling an elephant, only glimpsing one small corner of the complicated Sham Shui Po.