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Does China have the death penalty for spammers?

Example claim: Welcome to the United States of Canada.

Chinese law, for example, permits executions for sending spam, and harvesting of the guilty party's organs.

(Note: I'm asking about the death penalty. Whether organs get harvested is not at the core of the question.)

Also repeated on Wikipedia (citation is apparently to this page, which doesn't mention the death penalty), and in an opinion piece Happy birthday, spam! Do you mind if we don’t celebrate? in The Spectator.

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Since the claim on Wikipedia was unsourced, I removed it. – Nate Eldredge Jul 12 '14 at 15:31
Wishful thinking, perhaps? – Gabe Jul 12 '14 at 18:58
It bloody well should be ;-) – Richard Jul 12 '14 at 19:15
up vote 14 down vote accepted

This appears to be false.

The Wikipedia entry mentions the relevant law as being the 2006 Regulations on Internet Email Services. According to this report from Epsilon International and this one from Benchmark Email, the penalty for violating the law is a fine of CNY 10000 (roughly USD 1600 or EUR 1200) per email. The fine can be tripled if the case involves "unlawful proceeds" (it is unclear to me what that means). There is no mention of any stiffer penalties.

I am removing the unsourced Wikipedia claim.

share|improve this answer
I would guess that "unlawful proceeds" means profiting financially from sending the spam. For example, the UK Proceeds of Crime Act (2002) sets up mechanisms for confiscating criminals' profits from their activities. – David Richerby Jul 12 '14 at 17:47

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