Stop corrupt SMS voting practice: Chinese law-maker

March 4th, 2008 - 11:33 pm ICT by admin  

Beijing, March 4 (Xinhua) A Chinese law-maker has said the practice of text message (SMS) voting, which has become very popular in the country, is breeding corruption and needs to be banned. “In some places voting through text messages is even used to choose local famous brands or model workers,” Zhao Linzhong, a deputy to the 11th National People’s Congress (NPC), the national legislature of China, said Tuesday.

He said that such activities are serious in nature and affect the morality of the people.

Some candidates hire people to vote that help the richer win and deprive the poor of a chance to get elected, Zhao said.

Some local government offices are also involved in some contests that require voting by text messages. Those eager to win could lavish public money, while corruption could occur among organisers of the voting, the law-maker stressed.

Zhao called on the government to limit or ban the text message voting practice.

The Hunan TV Station had introduced the SMS voting in 2006 while conducting the “Super Girl” competition, the Chinese version of “American Idol”.

Following its success, almost all TV channels began doing talent hunt shows to win audiences. These shows were so successful that the TV channels are continuing such programmes on a regular basis.

As of 2007-end, China had 547 million mobile phone users who sent a total of 592.1 billion text messages over the past year, posting a 37.8 percent year-on-year increase.

The first annual full session of the 11th NPC is scheduled to start Wednesday and will run until March 18.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in World |