Too much spam on your mobile phone? You’re not the only one being hit or getting angry. 30 NPC delegates are thinking of enacting a PRC Information Security Protection Law, which would provide a heavy deterrent to spammers.
No details have been released regarding the law under discussion. However, Chinese law now officially forbids people from sending pornographic or “otherwise disturbing or irritating” messages via SMS text message. There have been cases where sexual harassment in the form of text messages have landed the offender punishment.
The company isolated by consumer watchdogs as the offender — Focus Media Wireless — is a detestable institution indeed. With a database of 200 million mobile phone numbers, the company has the lowdown on every last bit of your personal information, including your car license number, according to mainland TV images. Even top-end execs such as Pan Shiyi (潘石屹), the man behind such architectural stunts such as Jianwai SOHO, has been tracked; Pan can easily get spammed if the Focus Media Wireless wants it.
The illegal selling of personal information is extremely unpopular amongst China’s 500 million mobile phone users. There have, so far, been few attempts at reporting cases of text messaging spam. Around 8 spam text messages are received by the average user a month — that’s about one a day per user, in essence 500 million spam messages in all in just one single day.
The mainland authorities are finally eyeing their focus on the SMS market, which as early as 1999 was still an empty market. In 1999, about the only mobile phones capable of sending text messages were those brought in from outside China roaming on Chinese mobile networks. In just ten years, the Chinese SMS world has gone from mute to spam mode.
Photo from JulianBleeckr: Not quite the mobile spam we’re talking about here.