SMS writers make much in holiday

Updated: 2007-02-24 11:20

BEIJING -- Chinese mobile phone users' text-message sending spree during Spring Festival made message writer a lucrative profession in the country.

It was estimated by China's top two telecommunications operators, China Mobile and China Unicom, that Chinese people would send more than 14 billion greeting text messages during the week-long Spring Festival holiday.

The figure meant excellent income for professional message writers who wrote for websites that provided downloading services to cute message seekers.

The writer could reap one cent for each sending after his or her message was downloaded. A mobile phone user was charged 10 cents for sending a text message.

In the past week, some productive text message writers earned more than 10,000 yuan (1,280 U.S. dollars), equivalent to their average monthly income, according to an employee of China Mobile.

Subscribers want cute, ingenious messages to extend greetings and bring joy and fun to their friends, so message writers must have a good command of the language, said a text message writer surnamed Chen.

The development of the telecommunication industry also requires that message writers have basic training in art and music to produce multi-media messages, said Chen, who started to write for message providing websites three years ago.

China Mobile and China Unicom's officials said they had optimized their networks to avoid possible message jams during the holiday season.

Statistics from the Ministry of Information showed that in 2006, Chinese people sent 429.6 billion short messages through mobile phones, a daily average of up to 1.2 billion.

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