CCTV exposed Focus Media's (FMCN) subsidiary Focus Wireless' making and sending of junk short messages at this year's World Consumer Rights Day on March 15.
According to CCTV's investigation aired around China last weekend, Focus Wireless has merged all the major short message group sending companies in China by purchasing information from them and classifying the mobile phone numbers collected by them, which makes it possible for the company to claim to offer comprehensive advertising services for highly-targeted users.
Focus Wireless is said to own information on about half of China's 500 million mobile phone users. The company says it is specialized in nine major businesses that cover various groups of people, including residential complex owners; entrepreneurs; car owners; mobile phone users; civil servants; insurance and banking clients; real estate investors; and editors. Jiang Nanchun, CEO of Focus Media, the parent company of Focus Wireless, once said at a teleconference in 2007 that Focus Wireless might be listed independently due to its rapid growth. However, now local media report that CCTV's exposure of the company's misdeeds might affect the company's listing process potential.
Focus Wireless's vice president Zi Hairong said that the junk messages might be sent by some of Focus Wireless' affiliates, since there may be some bad eggs mixed up among all the affiliates of Focus Wireless.
Focus Media said that it has begun an investigation of these "grandson companies".