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.

  • 6
    Since the claim on Wikipedia was unsourced, I removed it. Jul 12, 2014 at 15:31
  • 4
    Wishful thinking, perhaps?
    – Gabe
    Jul 12, 2014 at 18:58
  • 4
    It bloody well should be ;-)
    – Richard
    Jul 12, 2014 at 19:15

1 Answer 1


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.

  • 1
    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. Jul 12, 2014 at 17:47
  • 1
    That "per email" should be scary enough to prevent chinese spam at all.
    – beppe9000
    Jan 13, 2018 at 17:56

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