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Four men charged with massive bulk texting of spam ads

[ 2011-01-06 10:40]     字号 [] [] []  
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Four young men who allegedly sent more than 10 million text messages have been charged with illegal business operation by Beijing prosecutors, local media reported on Wednesday.

The idea of profiting by sending bulk text messages was masterminded by a man surnamed Zhou and his cousin surnamed Shao, both in their 30s. The two had operated an advertising company in Beijing but did not attract enough revenue, the Xicheng district people's procuratorate told the Beijing News.

The cousins then contacted a technology company employee surnamed Xu, who was already involved in the business. Since all the bulk text message senders they used were antiquated and the sending speed was slow, the three asked a mobile phone recharge card retailer surnamed Xiang for help.

From November 2008 until they were seized by the police in January 2010, the four sent more than 10 million text messages, containing advertisements for real estate projects, private tutoring and information on fake invoice and credit card services.

The accused charged about 300 yuan ($45) for sending 10,000 messages.

Ren Lixin, a prosecutor from Xicheng district people's procuratorate, told China Daily: "They used a new bulk texting device to send thousands of messages each day, and the cost of each piece was less than 0.03 yuan, so the profit was 20 percent of the money they charged the clients". The accused said they did not know bulk texting required a license.

China has no specific law on the sending of junk messages. However, the country's telecom regulations stipulate that all telecom value-added service providers should obtain a license before starting operations.

Bulk texting that contains advertisements is considered a telecom value-added service, according to Ren.

If convicted of illegal business operation, the four could face five or more years in prison depending on the severity of the case.


1. How many text messages did the men send?

2. How much did they charge for sending 10,000 messages?

3. How much did each message cost the gang?


1. 10 million.

2. 300 yuan.

3. 0.03 yuan.


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Four men charged with massive bulk texting of spam ads

About the broadcaster:

Four men charged with massive bulk texting of spam ads

Lee Hannon is Chief Editor at China Daily with 15-years experience in print and broadcast journalism. Born in England, Lee has traveled extensively around the world as a journalist including four years as a senior editor in Los Angeles. He now lives in Beijing and is happy to move to China and join the China Daily team.