If you are one of those hardware fans who’s always itching to get the latest device whenever there’s a new update, you’ll probably have one of those junk drawers spewing out tentacles of wires and gadgets that are covered in dust. Among them, a bunch of old smartphones — sound familiar?

That’s exactly the case with many Chinese citizens as the country’s smartphone market is reaching saturation. China now boasts a total of 1.14 billion mobile users, according to data from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. The country’s smartphone shipment number stood at around 425 million in 2014, while there were only 56.98 million newly added mobile subscribers in the same year.

The gap between these figures indicates that nearly 400 million old smartphones were discarded per year. “Over 90% of the smartphones are purchased for replacing old ones”, said Sun Wenping, head of Shenzhen Smartphone Association, “due to reasons like the need to shift from 2G to 4G networks, or simply for a fancier version.”

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Emma Lee

Emma Lee is Shanghai-based tech writer, covering startups and tech happenings in China and Asia in general. We are looking for stories related to tech and China. Reach her at lixin@technode.com.