The Ministry of Information Industry (MII) announced yesterday a crackdown on junk e-mail with the launch of a new regulation and a complaint center.
A survey conducted by the Internet Society of China shows that from August 2004 to April 2005, Internet users received an average of 16.8 pieces of junk e-mail every week, accounting for over 60 percent of their total e-mail received.
"China is seriously affected by junk mail," said Li Guobin, an official with the MII.
According to the regulation, e-mail service providers must first obtain approval from the relevant authorities before they commence operations. This is part of the market admittance system that also requires service providers to register their IP (Internet Protocol) addresses.
Marketing or advertising e-mail should not be sent to subscribers without their prior permission. And if they are, the subject of the e-mail should read: Advertisement or AD.
Those who violate the regulation can be fined up to 30,000 (US$3727) depending on the content of the junk mail, but not depending on how many were sent out.
Violators will also be blacklisted.
Internet users who wish to report junk mail can send their complaints to firstname.lastname@example.org, or they can call the hotline: (010) 12321 (http://english.anti-spam.cn/).
All this is part of a series of measures taken by the MII to manage Internet and mobile phone networks.
As far as mobile phones are concerned, users will have to register for their services using their real names. It is hoped that this would help to reduce the number of junk short messages or SMSes received on handsets.
(Xinhua News Agency February 22, 2006)