Lucky cell phone numbers are big business in China. Just ask any of the Chinese vendors offering auspicious cell phone numbers at premium prices. Highly coveted phone numbers can go for anywhere from $1,000 to $33,000 in cell phone stores. Vendors typically store popular numbers on lists that also specify the prices.
The most desired cell phone numbers in China are those that have consecutive 8’s, followed by 9’s or 6’s. An ideal – and thus a very favorable – cell phone number will end with four or five 8’s, signifying great prosperity and wealth. The more consecutive 8’s, 9’s or 6’s, the better. On the other hand, a lone 6 or 9 won’t mean much and thus is worth hardly anything. The number 9 stands for longevity – as demonstrated by the date of September 9, 1999, when numerous Chinese couples got married – while 6 is identified with longevity as well, or joy, depending on the particular Chinese dialect in which the number is spoken aloud.
Particular number series are in high demand for the phonetic similarity they convey to auspicious phrases in various Chinese dialects. For example, “518” can signify “I want to prosper” in Mandarin while “168” sounds similar to “a road of prosperity.” In Cantonese, “289” sounds similar to “easy prosperity that lasts.”
Cell phone numbers teeming with consecutive lucky digits of 8, 6 and 9 have famously fetched thousands of dollars at auction in China, underscoring the important role that auspicious digits play in Chinese culture. Successful young businessmen are frequently the ones who clamor most for highly sought cell phone numbers. A lucky phone number readily communicates the professional success of an individual or business. Like a Ferrari, the lucky cell phone number is a status symbol for the businessmen demographic in China.