For Vietnamese rich, the usual trappings of luxury like cars, yachts and even jets are passe. The latest fad is to have ‘lucky’ phone numbers which trade for several billions of dongs (1 USD = 20,000 Vietnamese Dong).
Each SIM card (short for Subscriber Identity Module) is unique and the number that goes on it is the cell phone number which is unique for the entire nation. Consequently numbers such as 0988888888 are considered extremely auspicious and can fetch sky high prices at auctions. The number ‘8’ for instance is considered lucky in Feng Shui and is revered by the Chinese. Thus the number 0988888888 with eight 8’s is considered as the king simcard in Vietnam. This sim card is currently valued at 1 million dollars (21 billion dong).
Similarly, sim cards with numbers ‘6’ and ‘9’ are also in high demand thanks to their connection with ‘good fortune’ and ‘power’ respectively. Numbers that include 091x.888.888 and 097x.999999 are also one’s that are in high demand. The latter one is actually considered to be the ‘sim card of the god of wealth’.
Whether superstition or not, these SIM cards certainly enjoying the exalted status of luxury goods in Vietnam. Numbers such as 096×888.888 (all the series) are trading at billions of dong in this fast growing nation.