WeChat confirms that it makes all private user data available to the Chinese government
WeChat, which is developed by Chinese firm Tencent, is a messaging app similar to Whatsapp
September 19, 2017 / 06:04 PM IST
No 2, Tencent | Market Cap: $ 409.79 billion | CEO: Pony Ma | Location: China | Industry: IT Software & Services. (Image: Reuters)
WeChat has confirmed what has been rumoured all along i.e. it gives all user information to the Chinese government. The popular app in a privacy statement is now informing the users that virtually all the private user information will be disclosed to the authorities.
WeChat, owned by the Chinese firm Tencent, is a messaging app similar to the WhatsApp. With over 662 million users, the app, besides being the dominant messaging app in China, it is one of the largest in the world.
The app is also infamous for its links with the Chinese regime. A 2016 survey by Amnesty International ranked it lowest among popular messaging apps with regard to privacy protection of its users.
The information that nearly all the private data in the app is accessible to the Chinese regime became evident when the users tried to avail the latest update.
As the app stores a large amount of personal data including contacts and any information searched online while using the app, this would mean a bulk of individuals' private information will be accessible to the regime.
Of late the Chinese government has been aggressively following a policy to bring all online activities under its domain. It had recently blocked WhatsApp in the country as part of a strategy to eliminate few remaining platforms available to countrymen beyond the official control.
Beijing had also recently announced regulations that mandated that WeChat users will be liable and persecuted for any information posted in the group that the government considered as objectionable.