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.