Au­thor­i­ties stop il­le­gal broad­casts

Some ‘pi­rate’ ra­dio sta­tions push­ing false ad­ver­tis­ing could reach as far as 300 km

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA - By HOULIQIANG houliqiang@chi­

More than 500 sets of equip­ment for mak­ing unau­tho­rized ra­dio broad­casts in China were seized in a na­tional cam­paign aided by more than 30,000 air­wave mon­i­tors.

The cam­paign, launched on Feb 15 by the State Coun­cil, re­sulted in 1,796 cases re­lated to il­le­gal ra­dio sta­tions, af­ter 301,840 hours of mon­i­tor­ing from Fe­bru­ary to July, ac­cord­ing to an on­line state­ment by the Min­istry of In­dus­try and In­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy.

The num­ber of in­ci­dents was down by 50 per­cent from April to Au­gust, the state­ment said.

So-called pi­rate ra­dio has ap­peared in most parts of China since 2015 and “has been a chan­nel for crim­i­nals to de­fraud and pro­mote aphro­disi­acs, along with coun­ter­feit and poor-qual­ity medicine”, ac­cord­ing to the Min­istry of Pub­lic Se­cu­rity’s Crim­i­nal In­ves­ti­ga­tion Depart­ment.

The op­er­at­ing cost of pi­rate ra­dio is low, but profit can be high. A pi­rate ra­dio sta­tion that broad­casts ad­ver­tise­ments for aphro­disi­acs can pocket more than 70,000 yuan ($10,500) a month, with an over­head cost of no more than 10,000 yuan, in­ves­ti­ga­tors said in a post on Si­naWeibo. It said most spare parts for broad­cast­ing equip­ment can be bought on the in­ter­net.

In a re­cent case in Shang­hai, an op­er­a­tor of a pi­rate ra­dio sta­tion bought eight sets of equip­ment for less than 10,000 yuan via theQQin­stant mes­sag­ing plat­form.

An­other per­son, who was in the same QQ group with the seller, helped the op­er­a­tor record the au­dio ad­ver­tise­ments and charged 380 yuan for each piece, ac­cord­ing to a me­dia re­port. The sus­pect bought a cer­tain medicine for 9.9 yuan per box, which he then sold for 330 yuan through the ra­dio broad­cast.

“The broad­cast power of pi­rate ra­dio sta­tions can be 2,500 to 5,000 watts, which is sev­eral hun­dred of times that of com­mer­cial ra­dio, and the sig­nal can be re­ceived 300 kilo­me­ters away,” the depart­ment said.

In the Shang­hai case, the sus­pect rented an apart­ment to ac­com­mo­date the equip­ment. The elec­tro­mag­netic ra­di­a­tion of the equip­ment was so high that the re­frig­er­a­tor of a nearby fam­ily mal­func­tioned, with TV screens flick­er­ing fre­quently. The sus­pect didn’t live in the apart­ment but used his cell phone as a re­mote con­trol to turn equip­ment on and off.

Pi­rate ra­dio may also pose a threat to com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween air­craft pi­lots and ground con­trollers, as its fre­quency band neigh­bors that of flight nav­i­ga­tion sig­nals and can cre­ate in­ter­fer­ence, the depart­ment said.

“The de­vel­op­ment of e-com­merce and so­cial net­works has fa­cil­i­tated the crim­i­nals in sell­ing” il­le­gal equip­ment for pi­rate ra­dio, Zhang Jian­ming, di­rec­tor of Shang­hai Ra­dio Ad­min­is­tra­tion Bureau, told CCTV.

Zhang said the pub­lic should be cau­tious when lis­ten­ing to ra­dio ad­ver­tise­ments, and he also called on the pub­lic to re­port sus­pi­cious ac­tiv­ity to the po­lice.

Un­der Chi­nese law, the unau­tho­rized use ra­dio fre­quency bands can bring up to seven years in prison.

re­lated to il­le­gal ra­dio sta­tions were dealt with since a cam­paign was launched on Feb 15.

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