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The number of SMS (Short Message Service) messages sent so far this year has surpassed that for all of last year, when 15.8 billion messages were sent, and has come close to topping China Mobile's estimate that 30 billion messages would be sent in 2002, China's Xinhua News Agency said.
With the number of SMS messages rising sharply during the first half of 2002, SMS use in China has expanded beyond traditional SMS messages sent between individual subscribers.
In April, Beijing-based market analyst BDA China reported that SMS-based services, such as daily weather reports and daily jokes, represent a growing percentage of SMS messages sent in China.
Subscribers can also use SMS to request specific information, such as stock prices, from automated information services, BDA said.