Spam calls and texts are rampant in China. According to a survey from the China Internet Association from 2016, internet users receive spam messages 20.6 times per week and harassing phone calls 21.3 per week.

Many netizens have complained of situations where they would search for something online and have a company call them to offer them the service or product they were searching for. In 2016, one of these cases has lead to the death of a young student. A college-bound student Xu Yuyu died of a cardiac arrest after funds her family had raised for her tuition fees were swindled in a telephone scam.

A new report from People’s Daily has shed light on the practice (in Chinese). Local police in Beijing’s Haidian district announced on December 5th that a large chain of hackers has been busted holding over 1 million pieces of information on Chinese citizens, including mobile phone numbers.

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Masha Borak

Masha Borak is a technology reporter based in Beijing. Write to her at masha.borak [at] technode.com. Pitches with the word "disruptive" will be ignored. Read a good book - learn some more adjectives.