Anyone who has a mobile phone in China knows how annoying it is to receive 2-3 spam messages a day from random numbers selling ringtones, touting financial pyramid schemes and even peddling house-call massages. For many spammers, if they can get a click-thru from just a tiny percentage of the 550+ million mobile phone subscribers, they have a viable business model.

For the last couple weeks, mobile spam has hit the front pages of Chinese newspapers as seven advertising companies including Nasdaq-listed Focus Media were discovered to have sent commercial messages to over 200 million subscribers without consent. Focus Media, who has been one of the runaway success stories of the advertising industry in China, reportedly possess private information of more than 200 million mobile users, which has enraged many in the Chinese media and public.

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