CHINA> National
China tackles spam text messages
Updated: 2008-09-26 21:47

BEIJING -- The Telecommunications Administration Bureau held online discussions with netizens on Friday over spam text messages that are being sent to cell phones, saying it had received 510,000 complaints from users as of August.

Bureau deputy inspector Wang Jianwen said the bureau had set up a center to handle complaints about spam text messages in April, and in May alone it received 380,000 complaints.

Complaints declined to about 50,000 and 40,000 in June and July, respectively, which suggested moves by the government and mobile service providers had been effective, Wang said.

According to a May report by the China Internet Network Information Center, cell phone users were each receiving about 13 spam text mails every week as of the end of 2007, up 50 percent year on year.

Many messages were deceptive, and Wang warned the public not to reply to or trust such messages. In addition, getting so many unsolicited messages was annoying.

Wang said one problem was that messages were sent across provinces and regions and through different networks, making it hard to curtail them.

The bureau, which is under the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, has urged the industry to take nationwide steps against the problem.

Telecom providers are promoting spam-blocking software on cell phones.