GUANGZHOU, Feb. 3 (Xinhua) -- Authorities in south China's Guangdong Province blocked text messaging services on 900,000 cell phone numbers last year because their users had sent large amounts of illegal, junk messages.
"Almost all such messages were sent using bulk SMS software in defiance of laws and regulations," said Yang Yuncai, director of the Network and Information Security Department under the Guangdong Provincial Communications Administration.
In China, illegal, junk text messages usually carry fraudulent information on prize draws, advertisements about sales of products ranging from discounted plane tickets to banned guns, or vulgar and obscene content.
"No subscribers applied to restore the text messaging service for their phone numbers during a 90-day complaint period," Yang said.
The telecommunications and police authorities in Guangdong started cracking down on illegal text messages in 2005, as required in a circular issued by the then Ministry of Information Industry.
More than 100,000 mobile phone numbers had incurred an SMS ban each year in the province, Yang said.
In December, the central authorities launched a harsh new crackdown on pornographic and vulgar content spread through Internet or mobile WAP sites.
The targets of the crackdown, which is to last till May, are websites containing obscene content that could seriously threaten the mental development of minors.