Tom Online (TOMO) made an announcement today that its email users now have access to an expanded storage capacity and new anti-virus features, but the company's email system is still in danger of soon experiencing problems because of its refusal to remove spammers from its systems.
In recent weeks the world's largest anti-spam organization, Spamhaus Project, has notified both Tom.com and the Internet Society of China (ISC) that Tom.com's Internet Protocol (IP) addresses might soon be placed in Spamhaus' global blocklists. Spamhaus' blocklists are used by over 260 million Internet users around the world to stem the flow of unsolicited bulk email. Tom.com is currently hosting a number of notorious Chinese spammers, including Wang Jingjing, and Spamhaus has warned the China portal repeatedly of that spammer's actions.
With a registered email user base of almost 30 million, Tom Online is one of the largest providers of email service in China.
"Email service always has been Tom Online's strength. Since we launched the 163 e-mail service two years ago, the growth rates of tom.com's email user numbers have been consistently higher than that of the industry average. As at the end of 2004, the number of Tom email users almost topped 30 million. That is an enviable 65% increase from 2003," said Wang Lei Lei, Tom Online Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director.
Two weeks ago Sina.com (SINA) was in a similar situation. Its email users were unable to send email out to many friends around the world because Spamhaus had placed Sina within its database after three years of unsuccessfully trying to persuade Sina to remove illegal users from its systems. Sina's CEO Wang Yan finally organized his internal staff and sent an email to Spamhaus promising to rectify the situation, after which Spamhaus removed Sina from its lists.
A Spamhaus Project volunteer in China says that the ISC is aware of Tom.com's problems, but nothing constructive has been done in the last two weeks. Spamhaus says it will soon be forced to place Tom.com within its blocklists if the Chinese web portal does not restructure how it deals with errant users. If that happens, Tom.com's email users will be cut-off from much of the world's Internet population.
Tom.com's antivirus software is provided by Kaspersky Lab, and its anti-junk mail function, is powered by the Coremail system of Tebie, an antispam software designer in China.