Chinese Government Uses Cell Phones to Warn Citizens not to Demonstrate

May 27, 2005

Beijing police sent a short text message to millions of mobile phone users in the capital, telling them "Don't take part in illegal protests. Don't make trouble," according to a May 2 Associated Press report.

On April 22, Agence France Presse reported that Chinese authorities had shut down Web sites that had carried messages calling for demonstrations. On April 25 the Shanghai Evening Post published an article warning citizens not to use cell phones to "spread rumors" about demonstrations, and Shanghai's Liberation Daily posted a notice from the Shanghai public security bureau warning people not to use the Internet or cell phones to organize demonstrations, and instead "convert strong patriotic feeling into practical action in doing their job well or studying hard." Shanghai authorities have detained or arrested over 40 people in connection with anti-Japanese protests held on April 16.