The Next of Text: SMS in China

Text messaging is everywhere (except the U.S.), and the media is reporting the viral way this
messaging can create bad news for governments. In France, text messaging is being used to encourage rioting. Large anti-Japanese demonstrations here in China were said to be helped along my mobile messaging.

So, the Chinese government sees this and decides to curb text messaging by pressing action against anyone who uses the technology to incite unrest.

Just as that news is released, I have learned that Shantou University is starting a new mass text messaging system on campus. Students register their cell numbers so they can send and receive mass SMS (Short Messaging System = text message) messages. For instance, if a student group wanted to invite the other students to a special lecture taking place in a half hour, they could SMS the prompted invite out to encourage attendance. If the number of students using the service grows from the current 88, I plan to do just that with Pippin. The power is great because the cell phone is the technology god in China. According to some stats, China has the largest amount of cell phone users of any age in the world. First priority for people above computers, email, mp3 players, and instant messaging is a cell phone. Text messaging keeps the cell phone affordable while keeping the person reachable at all times.

I find that it is far more effective when I want to reach someone to SMS them than to email them.