Chinese telecom regulators intensify crackdown on spams

June 13th, 2009 - 5:11 pm ICT by ANI  

Beijing, June 13 (ANI): In the wake of Chinese mobile users complaining that they are getting up to 641 million junk texts a day, Chinese telecom regulators have intensified their crackdown on spam short messages.

Country’s three main mobile network operators, China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom have joined the regulators in their anti-spam fight by signing an agreement to deal with inter-network spam messages, the China Daily reports.

The agreement will limit the number of messages that can be sent from a phone number in an hour to 200, and in a day to 1,000 on weekdays. The numbers for weekends will be 500 an hour and 2,000 a day.Spams have become a nuisance in China as hundreds of small wireless service providers keep sending advertising messages to subscribers that cover items from fake financial documents to weapons.

According to domestic research firm iResearch, the short message ad market is huge, with a turnover likely to reach 724 million yuan this year.

China Mobile, the country’s largest telecom operator, will start a national campaign to promote anti-spam software in its user base, Lu Wenchang, company deputy marketing manager, said.

China Telecom and China Unicom said they would soon launch an anti-spam firewall.

“We need to have a long-term scheme to curb spams. China Telecom is developing anti-spam software, which is being tried out in 31 provinces,” Zhu Zhengwu, China Telecom deputy manager, said.

Last year, Focus Media Wireless had to face public anger when it was revealed that the company sent more than 100 million spams to subscribers every day.

The government decided to crack down immediately on those sending junks. But most of its efforts failed because it is difficult to differentiate spam senders from ordinary cell-phone users.

Experts say lack of real incentive for curbing spams has a lot to do with mobile phone operators’ indifference toward the nuisance. (ANI)

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