Business How a sanctions-busting smartphone business thrives in North Korea Updated : September 26, 2019 12:29 PM IST Economists estimate as many as six million North Koreans - a quarter of the population - now have mobile phones. The phones feature Taiwanese semiconductors, batteries made in China and a version of Google's open-source Android operating system. United Nations sanctions imposed in 2017 because of the North's weapons programmes prohibit imports of mobile phone hardware. Subscribe to Moneycontrol PRO at just Rs.33/- per month for the first year. Use code SUPERPRO. Limited period offer. Available on Web and Android.