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Business trends

China emerges as center of thriving used smartphone trade

Carrier practices keep Japan out of step with secondhand market

This electronics market in Guangzhou draws smartphone buyers from Africa and elsewhere. (Photo by Yu Nakamura)

TOKYO -- Secondhand cellphones from all over the globe are winding up in resale markets in China, which has become a go-to hub for buyers from an equally diverse array of places.  

One recent morning, a commercial space in Guangzhou was filled with used handsets imported from various countries. Buyers from Africa were busy examining and picking out devices. "Phones from Japan are very popular," one vendor said, adding that they tend to be in good condition.

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