China Telecom has announced that 19 nationwide Little Smart (PHS) service providers, including Sohu.com (SOHU), have been fined and penalized for registering users for unwanted SMS services.
The other wireless value-added service (WVAS) providers fined include Entel, 5460.net, China Youth Daily Network Technology Company and Tongxue.com. All the companies have received punishments from China Telecom that require them to halt their service for one year and pay fines ranging from CNY202,000 to CNY3 million.
China Telecom issued a punishment notice to each of the 19 concerned WVAS providers on November 5, but news of these sanctions has just been made public.
Of the 19 companies, Beijing Entel has received the severest punishment. It has been fined CNY3.18 million for sending unwarranted group short messages and receiving the most complaints.
Sohu.com received the lightest punishment with a CNY202,000 fine.
Last year Sohu and other companies were also punished by China Telecom by charging users for services they did not register to receive and for spamming mobile users with mobile text messages.