Internet Sweep Day for 2006 Commences in China

2011-08-11 15:45:18

On 28 February 2006, Ministry of Information Industry (MII), State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) and Internet Society of China (ISC) jointly launched Internet Sweep Day for 2006 with the theme of “Sweep Internet Spam, Protect Consumers’ Rights” in Beijing, the capital of China.

Internet Sweep Day for 2006 is a joint exercise conducted by agencies who are members of the International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network (ICPEN). This event is not only an important content of international cooperation in consumer protection, but also a key step to rectify and regulate market economy order and promote cultural and ideological progress.

Mr. Xi Guohua, the Vice-Minister of MII, Mr. Wang Dongfeng, the Vice-Minister of SAIC, and Mr. Gao Xinmin, the Standing Vice-Chairman of ISC attended the Commencement and delivered speeches on the spot. Mr. Sun Wenxu, the Deputy Director-General of Consumer Protection Bureau of SAIC, Ms. Wang Xiujun, the Deputy Director-General of Information Management Bureau of MII, Mr. Huang Chengqing, the Secretary-General of ISC, and representatives from Internet-related operators made theme speeches in the ceremony.

While enjoying the infinite convenience and high efficiency brought by Internet, consumers are also harassed by misleading information transmitted via Internet. Spam not only infringe consumers’ rights and waste their precious time as well as occupied large sum of Internet resources, but severely disturb the market order and result in great economic loss. To deal with such tendency, Internet-based enterprises have to make great input into annual Internet sweep and undoubtedly Spam is becoming a world nuisance. Hence, the whole society lodges lots of complaints thereon and fiercely condemns those illegal behaviors.

Facing the explosion of Spam, Chinese government attaches great importance to Internet supervision. A series of counter-measures are adopted or to be adopted to protect consumers’ rights and interests, promote a sound development of Internet and crack down Spam.

MII officially commenced the “Sunny Green Network Project” dated 21st February 2006, and issued Measures for the Administration of Internet Emails. The Decision of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress on Safeguarding Internet Security which paved a legal basis for anti-Spam supervision and administrative enforcement. At the meantime, Internet Spam Complaint Reporting Center (www.anti-spam.cn) was established. MII also open hotline 010-12321 and e-mail address for appeal (abuse@anti-spam.cn) to motivate the whole society to give full play of their roles in public surveillance. To this end, MII shows its position to continue interaction with related authorities, cooperation with Administrations for Industry and Commerce (AICs) to further its standardize E-advertisement and active participation in inter-governmental anti-Spam collaboration. In addition, MII says it will continue to support ISC’s engagement in self-regulation and establish a bridge between government and enterprises to promote an inter-active mechanism thereof. In this regard, MII proposes to make wide public advocacy and education to enhance the sense of self-discipline and self-protection for consumers.

As the main authority in charge of market supervision and consumer protection, AICs have always attached great importance to Internet sweep. SAIC says it will conscientiously perform its functions in strengthening internet-based market supervision and administrative enforcement and retrospectively it has scored certain effective results in some aspects. To those who applied to AICs for engaging in internet-based operation, Business Licenses could only be issued in the circumstance that they had obtained prior approvals from the competent authorities of information industry. To those who started internet-based business without obtaining Business Licenses have been banned resolutely. To those who conducted, via Internet, practices of consumer infringement such as misleading advertisement, fraudulence, unfair competition and trademark infringement will be punished according to law. SAIC states it will take advantage of Internet Sweep Day for 2006 to make due contribution to the healthy development of internet-based service in China by continuing close cooperation with related agencies such as the Ministry of Information Industry (MII), putting more efforts in research, formulating and perfecting related regulations, strictly exercising the power in issuing Business Licenses to related operators, intensifying administrative enforcement, emphasizing routine market supervision, effectively investigating into major internet-related cases of consumer infringement and inflicting severe punishment to the irregularities, smoothening consumer complaints channels, and encouraging the industry organizations and the public to give full play of their role in self-regulation and public surveillance.

ISC has been working on the self-regulation in the field of anti-Spam and, based on extensive participation and concerted cooperation, initially established its Black-list mechanism to inform the public of identified IP address engaging in Spam-sending at regular time. It also associates with domestic e-mail service providers to boycott Spam. This year, it tends to establish its White-list mechanism to smooth the communication channels for domestic e-mail users and hence ensure a sound Internet circumstances. In April 2005, the proportion of Spam in the total amount of e-mails received by Chinese users was 60.87 and for the first time Spam is on the descending track and, compared with the survey made in September 2004, the drop rate is 4.85. However, Spam supervision is a complicated systematic task, just as the saying, no progress means recession. A survey conducted in November 2005 shows that the proportion of Spam received by Chinese e-mail users is undergoing a trend of rebound. Therefore, the burden of anti-Spam task is still heavy and China has a long way to go in this field.

In the commencement ceremony, high-rank officials from MII and SAIC and leaders from ISC and representatives from Internet-related enterprises and consumers jointly held up a hammer and smashed the ice sculpture in shape of the characters “SPAM” representing junk information. This smash indicates the firm determination and resolute attitudes of Chinese government, Internet enterprises and consumers to sweep Internet Spam, maintain a healthy Internet environment and protect consumers’ rights and interests.

It is an arduous and long-standing task to sweep Internet Spam and purify Internet environment. The development trends of Internet supervision will be to enhance administrative enforcement, industry self-regulation, public surveillance and international cooperation as well as promote all-round supervision mechanism. This event exerts positive influence on promoting our legal scheme in field of Spam supervision and enterprises and consumer protection, enhancing consumers’ awareness of self-protection, intensifying the self-discipline of Internet-based enterprises, motivating the whole society and regulating internet-related practices. What’s more, it also plays a significant role in pushing the establishment of inter-coordination mechanism among government, self-regulatory bodies, Internet-based enterprises and consumers as well as promoting a sound development of Internet.