Web Spam From The Hong Kong Trade Development Council – Or How To Battle Unsolicited Mail

March 31st, 2011

We once attended an exhibition organised by the HKTDC. We had to give our personal details to attend. Seems they added us to their mail-out database, and now we receive their news releases.

OFTA regulates unsolicited marketing in Hong Kong, and set up this antispam website to help inform the public.  The legislation requires, essentially, that electronic direct marketing be an ‘opt-in’ facility, and that all correspondence contains a facility to unsubscribe.  Seems reasonable and civilised enough?

Well, the email from the HKTDC was in Chinese (see here), which we can’t read, so we needed to translate it (we used Google Translate).  There was no unsubscribe facility. This is a poor showing from the HKTDC, whose chairman is appointed by the Chief Executive.  But… why are we not surprised?

If you find similar behaviour from Hong Kong based companies, you can register your complaint here.  Be warned, the complaint form is a ridiculously convoluted affair.

While you are at it you might want to have a go at this remarkable game devised in order to improve awareness of the issues and guidelines around spam.

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