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China spam brings fine

Published: 4:45PM Tuesday August 22, 2006 Source: Reuters

A Shenzhen company has been fined for sending bulk junk email in what is believed to be the first case of its kind in China where more than 50 billion spam messages are received a year, state media said on Tuesday.

China has a prospering cyber-world, hosting 111 million internet users, 700,000 websites and fast-growing online business, but officials say 60% of the email Chinese people receive is spam, or electronic junk mail.

The company in the southern boomtown of Shenzhen was fined 5,000 yuan ($NZ980) for sending a "vast amount" of junk mail since January, the China Daily said. It did not say what the emails contained.

"The fine will send a warning to spam senders," the newspaper quoted Zhang Aiping, vice-director of the Guangdong Provincial Administration of Communication, as saying.

Companies or individuals making money illegally by sending junk email could be fined up to 30,000 yuan (NZ5,878), the China Daily said.