China Cracks Down on Popular Messaging App WeChat.
Tencent, the Chinese Internet giant has shut down several accounts on its popular instant messaging platform WeChat, users commented on Friday, in what appeared to be part of a government crackdown on political content.
Wechat also known as weixin or micro-messaging in Chinese, has over 300 million users in China and internationally, which allows them to sent text,videos,photos, and voice messages through mobile devices. Accounts that have been shut down includes those of the “Union of Elephants” which is a specialized in relevant current events, and “Consensus Net” which features articles on political topics.
Chinese authorities have maintained a large surveillance network, which includes include the internet, where a security thats been dubbed Great Firewall of China blocks access from sites that have been deemed sensitive and a grand censorship machine that deletes content considered objectionable.
A WeChat user whose account was one of the few to be shutdown, and asked to stay anonymous, has estimated that over 20 accounts have been closed. These accounts were suspended sometime during Thursday without any prior notice or follow-up explanation from Tencent.
The owners of WeChat, Tencent, Could not be reached for a comment on this recent affair. But a Tencent official had commented during the late Thrusday evening that messages that violated Chinese law had faced a crackdown.
“To guarantee user experience… the release of pornographic, violent, rumour-spreading information, and other types of information which violate laws, regulations and relevant policies are strictly prohibited,” Marsh Zhang, a publicity director at Tencent, said in a posting on his personal microblog.
“As soon as they are discovered, we will severely crack down and deal with them,” he said, but made no specific reference to accounts being closed.