Chinese mobile firm punishes staff for SMS spamming

China Mobile
Mobile phone spam sent via SMS text message is a huge problem in China. According to statistics from the Internet Society of China (ISC), an astonishing 353.8 billion spam text messages are sent every year in the country. I calculate that means 600 cellphone spam messages per Chinese mobile phone owner every year!

Thankfully, the-powers-that-be recognise the problem and are taking some action.

For instance, earlier this month, CCTV, the state-run television station in China, ran an investigation into the huge amount of spam being sent from some telecom bureaus in the country. As a result, China Mobile claims that it has punished the people responsible and sharply rebuked its affiliate Shandong Mobile.

China Mobile says that some of its branches in Shandong province violated corporate rules by sending commerical SMS messages.

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Four people, including the deputy general manager of the Dezhou branch and the deputy manager of the client services department of the Rizhao division are reported to have lost their jobs.

Whether we’ll see a dramatic drop in Chinese cellphone spam remains to be seen, but it’s good to see that the problem isn’t being entirely ignored.

* Image source: The Tenth Dragon’s Flickr photostream (Creative Commons)


Graham Cluley is an award-winning keynote speaker who has given presentations around the world about cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. A veteran of the computer security industry since the early 1990s, he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows, makes regular media appearances, and is the co-host of the popular "Smashing Security" podcast. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Threads, Bluesky, or drop him an email.

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