[photopress:spammobiles.jpg,full,alignright]Chinese mobile phone users are being flooded with spam text messages. The figures are frightening. According to a survey by the China Internet Society 6.25 percent of all users receive spam more than 40 times a week. That amount of spam causes severe indigestion for the receiver.
The survey shows that 35 per cent of all 4,721 users randomly questioned across the country receive five to 10 spam messages a week, while 15 per cent get 10 to 20. On average, each user receives at least eight spam messages a week.
The spam seems to follow the universal pattern — advertisements, plain swindles, illegal selling of vehicles, weapons or fake diplomas, and short message services (SMS) that users never signed up for.
Huang Chengqing, the society’s secretary-general, said spam messages are usually sent from private individual mobile phones, through SMS providers such as websites, or from special equipment added to the mobile phone that enables the sender to send mass messages at a single time.
The problem lies with the innocence of the user. The survey shows that only 61 per cent of users have ever appealed to supervisory departments and about half of them do not know how to cancel unwanted SMS subscriptions.
Huang Chengqing rightly said, ‘Such a limited number of complaints will not help change the existing situation.’ He believes every user should be clear about how to protect their rights.
Lu Xiangdong, vice-president of China Mobile Communications Corporation, one of China’s biggest mobile operators, said even he can’t escape from spam messages. In an anti-spam speech at a symposium in Beijing, Lu said he had just received an advertisement from an unknown number before he started the speech.
Lu Xiangdong said that in order to control spam messages, mobile operators should be more vigilant about suspiciously large numbers of text messages from one sender.
Now China’s four major mobile operators, China Mobile, China Unicom, China Telecom and China Netcom have joined 14 other service providers, including Sina.com and Sohu.com, to establish a ‘Green Mobile Culture’ association.
About 54 per cent of respondents to the China Internet Society’s survey agree that mobile operators and service providers should play a bigger role in combating spam messages. About 64 per cent of people questioned also consider it necessary for the government to issue related laws to better regulate mobile services.
To realize the size of the problem and the difficulties of policing it properly one needs to take the mass of figures. The Ministry of Information Industry states China had 449 million mobile phone users as of last month. That is 56 million more than at the end of last year.
Source: China Daily
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