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Spam bill bites into business

Businesses including banks, utility companies and telecommunications providers could face criminal charges for sending customers e-mails or electronic invoices under the government's proposed anti-spam legislation.
Under the current wording of the Unsolicited Electronic Messages Bill, any electronic message sent with marketing as "one of the purposes" would be in contravention of the law. Thus, business operators sending clients e-mails that incorporate features such as self-promotional advertisements, or even company logos and slogans, could face a fine of up to HK$1 million and five years' imprisonment.

The revelation sparked concern Tuesday among local business coalitions, which argued that the bill should consider pre-existing business relationships and include exemptions for messages with "incidental" commercial purpose.

"Some recipients actually expect to receive messages and we believe an exception should be made for these transactional types of messages,&qu...

» The Standard Hong Kong - Leslie Kwoh - 11-10-2006

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