2008-03-04 05:43:37 Xinhua English
BEIJING, March 4 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese lawmaker on Tuesday lashed out at text message voting, which is popular in the country whose residents sent an average 455 messages per person last year, and blamed such activities for corrupting social morals.
"In some places voting by text messages is even used to choose local famous brands or model workers, which vulgarizes the activities that are serious in nature," said Zhao Linzhong, a deputy to the 11th National People's Congress, the national legislature.
Some candidates hired people to vote, resulting in the fact that the richer were more like to win, according to Zhao.
Meanwhile, some local government offices were involved in some contests that required voting by text messages. Those eager to win could lavish public money, while corruption could occur among organizers of the voting.
Zhao called on relevant government departments to limit or ban text message voting.
As one of the measures to better manage talent shows, the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) last year banned text message votes for the talent show candidates.
Since the "Super Girl" competition, Chinese versions of "American Idol" created miracle for the Hunan TV Station in 2006, many local TV stations have followed suit to hold talent shows to win audiences in the last two years.
These shows were so successful that their regular way to choose winners, or voting by text messages, prevailed in the country.
China had 547 million mobile phone users at the end of last year, who sent a total of 592.1 billion text messages in the past year, posting a 37.8 percent year-on-year increase.
The first annual full session of the 11th NPC is scheduled to start on Wednesday and conclude on March 18.