Menu
China's WeChat cracks down on accounts, amid nation's growing censorship

China's WeChat cracks down on accounts, amid nation's growing censorship

On Thursday WeChat closed the public accounts of several publications known for their political writings

One of China's most popular messaging apps, WeChat, has started shutting down certain accounts known for their political writings, the latest sign that the nation is stepping up its censorship of the Internet.

Chinese users began noticing the closures on Thursday, as several public accounts on WeChat went silent. Users trying to access them were instead met with a message that said the accounts had violated WeChat policies.

Tencent, the Chinese Internet giant behind the social networking platform, said the account closures were made to ensure a quality user experience. "We continually review and take measures on suspicious cases of spam, violent, pornographic and illegal content. We also welcome users to report to us online or through our 24-hour hotline," the company said in an email.

But many of those closed accounts come from publications and local scholars that write about the nation's politics. Some have published articles critical of China, and examined government corruption and the nation's one-party rule.

"May I ask which article I wrote touched a nerve? What law did it violate? Who complained?" wrote Xu Xin, a legal scholar, in a posting on Chinese social networking site Sina Weibo.

WeChat has close to 300 million users, and has risen to become one of the hottest mobile app products in the nation. Along with providing messaging services, the product has become a social networking service, where users can share posts and pictures with friends.

To help certain users, such as businesses, promote their brands on WeChat, the service created so-called "public accounts" that any user can subscribe to.

The recent crackdown on public accounts, however, is no surprise. In November, China specifically named WeChat as among the social networking services it wants greater control over. Authorities are particularly concerned at the way the services can rapidly spread information, adding that they could be used to destabilize the country.

China's other major social networking site, Sina Weibo, has faced similar scrutiny. The nation has spent the past two years cracking down on alleged "rumors" and fake information circulating on the Twitter-like platform, by deleting accounts and even jailing users in some instances.

Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Internet-based applications and servicesregulationsocial networkingTencentmobilegovernmentsocial mediainternetmobile applications

Featured

Slideshows

Arrow exclusively introduces Tenable Network Security to A/NZ channel

Arrow exclusively introduces Tenable Network Security to A/NZ channel

Arrow Electronics introduced Tenable Network Security to local resellers in Sydney last week, officially launching the distributor's latest security partnership across Australia and New Zealand. Representing the first direct distribution agreement locally for Tenable specifically, the deal sees Arrow deliver security solutions directly to mid-market and enterprise channel partners on both sides of the Tasman.

Arrow exclusively introduces Tenable Network Security to A/NZ channel
Examining the changing job scene in the Kiwi channel

Examining the changing job scene in the Kiwi channel

Typically, the New Year brings new opportunities for personnel within the Kiwi channel. 2017 started no differently, with a host of appointments, departures and reshuffles across vendor, distributor and reseller businesses. As a result, the job scene across New Zealand has changed - here’s a run down of who is working where in the year ahead…

Examining the changing job scene in the Kiwi channel
​What are the top 10 tech trends for New Zealand in 2017?

​What are the top 10 tech trends for New Zealand in 2017?

Digital Transformation (DX) has been a critical topic for business over the last few years and IDC is now predicting a step change as DX reaches macroeconomic levels. By 2020 a DX economy will emerge and it will become the core of what New Zealand industries focus on. From the board level through to the C-Suite, Kiwi organisations must be prepared to think and act digital when the DX economy emerges in 2017.

​What are the top 10 tech trends for New Zealand in 2017?
Show Comments