China curbs text messaging, citing its 'massive influence'
Special to World Tribune.com
Thursday, November 10, 2005
The Chinese government last week issued new guidelines that seek to limit the use of cell phones for text messaging.
Mass communication via cell phone played a role in recent anti-Japan rallies such as this, involving some 40,000 demonstrators in Guangzhou, south China. China Photos / Getty Images
A circular issued by the Ministry of Public Security, the communist internal political police, stated that it is illegal to send short text messages that can have “massive influence.”
Chinese leaders fear text messaging could be used for pro-democracy and anti-communist political activities.
The effort appears aimed at curbing mass communication through cell phones, such as occurred in recent months when large-scale anti-Japanese demonstrations were triggered by widespread text messages.
The statement said that some text messages were sent posing as banks to defraud or blackmail people. There also have been obscene and pornographic messages, gambling and violent content.
Other illegal text messages have been related to such criminal activity as the sale of firearms, ammunition, explosives, smuggled cars, narcotics, knockout drops, obscene articles and counterfeit money.
The circular said action would be taking against anyone using text messages that violate the constitution, laws or decrees.