New measures will tackle the growing blight of mobile phone spam messages, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has said according to state media.
Zhang Yanbin, a director of a research institute affiliated with the ministry, told Xinhua a special taskforce had been established with representatives from telecom companies and online security firms to stop unsolicited text messages from being sent to phone users.
A report by 360 Security, a company specialising in network safety, said it had received reports of 446 million spam messages last year – most of which were advertisements and fraud messages, Xinhua reported.
“China has declared war against spam messages,” Zhang was quoted as saying. “We will further improve related laws, regulations and technical standards for the industry.”
The ministry kicked off a six-month campaign on May 5, during which the ministry will cooperate with the Ministry of Public Security, to investigate the spread of fraud and deceptive messages.
How mobile communication services providers deal with spam messages will form part of their annual performance evaluation by regulators.
Zhang added the ministry would introduce regulations on the management of message services and further cooperate with other government agencies to crack down on spam.
Police last month detained more than 250 people on suspicion of operating unlicensed telecom installations to send spam messages to mobile phone users. Police kicked off a campaign in February targeting the installations, which allowed spam carrying fake phone numbers or disguised as official communications to be sent to mobile phones nearby, Xinhua reported.