China's Ministry of Information Industry says that eight Chinese ministries will start a nationwide campaign against the epidemic of thieves intentionally destroying electrical and broadcast facilities.

Showing that China's technology sector is still the Wild West, the campaign will also focus on encouraging operators to stop cutting each other's cables, which some have done for competitive reasons.

Jiang Yaoping, deputy minister of MII, said it is very urgent to protect the telecom and broadcasting facilities. According to MII's statistics, there were 53000 cases of telecom facility theft in 2005, which resulted in up to CNY430 million in losses. The case number rose to 190000 in 2006 and caused a loss of CNY1.35 billion. In the first quarter of this year, the problem was still on the rise and there were about 32000 cases of destruction on China Telecom's equipment alone, which was double that of the same period last year.

In order to prevent further loss and to regulate the market, the eight ministries, which MII has not yet named, will jointly investigate and punish wrongdoers.


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