And when it comes to strange things on the internet, I need to know what's going on.
You need a NetEase account with a Chinese email address, which needs a Chinese phone number, iirc. So if we can get something going here, if someone lives in China, or knows how to obtain a Chinese number, please contact me at this discord server:
You need a chinese phone number to play minecraft China version?
Is this version focused on mobile devices?
According to the Wiki it has both Java and Bedrock versions, so I assume the phone number is a form of 2-factor authentication (this is one reason why they are migrating to Microsoft accounts, though it doesn't appear to be required). Most people also have mobile phones these days (more so than traditional computers) so it is natural to use them for verification:
Note that this version is also free-to-play, which may be another reason; otherwise, you could just download a copy from anywhere and play the game for free (I assume it is only in Chinese and it has various differences from the "original" game though).
Interestingly, it appears to be far more optimized than the original version, assuming the article is up-to-date (the Wiki says it is a remake, not just a rebranded version of the original so it appears to be a completely different codebase, and is 1-2 updates behind as a result):