China warns of strict steps against spammers

March 23rd, 2008 - 7:49 pm ICT by admin  

Beijing, March 23 (Xinhua) The Chinese government Sunday said it would take strict action against senders of junk text messages after half of the country’s 555 million mobile phone users were flooded with spams from advertising firms. The state council said it was making a thorough investigation into the incident.

“We urge parties concerned to beef up self-scrutiny to correct their wrongdoing, which is profit driven in defiance of public interests,” said deputy head of the State Council Office for Rectifying Malpractice Liu Yue.

The comment came days after China Mobile apologized for its management loopholes that allowed advertising firms to inundate mobile phone users with spam.

The country’s largest mobile operator has vowed to block short messages originating from the seven online advertising firms last Wednesday.

The Ministry of Information Industry (MII) is working with other related departments to standardise rules for online and text advertising market, said the official in charge of information security in MII, Zhong Zhihong.

It is not difficult for mobile operators to block the unwanted messages, Zhong said, reiterating the telecom operators should play their part in the clean-up campaign.

The seven online advertising firms, which included the Nasdaq-listed Focus Media, arbitrarily sent commercial text messages to over 200 million mobile phone users whose personal information was fully controlled by the companies, through the two operators, China Mobile and China Unicom.

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