Chinese government making another move to eradicate its citizen’s internet freedom, forced WeChat, a mobile communication and text service, to come under surveillance. Without any information, a many of public accessible accounts on the service went missing, owners reported to have them blocked and deleted by the Tencent.
Developed by a Chinese firm Tencent, WeChat has almost 100 million users sending texts, audio, video and pictures everyday. It also has a bunch of other services including online payments, a proposed wealth management solution and virtual credit cards. But on Thursday, reports came out about massive deletion and blocking of accounts in the entire China. While many users reported about the inaccessibility to their accounts, some said it has been deleted.
With a number of blocked and deleted accounts, users complained about inaccessibility to the accounts producing articles on current affairs and social phenomena. Ms. Tam, an overseas Chinese in Malaysia said, “I believe it was to block sensitive issues, such as the persecution of religions, the widespread corruption, and the human rights issues. The CCP forbids discussion. Simply put, it is all about the power, and the money behind the power.”
Company said, accounts which have been blocked were involved in sharing of illegal contents and have violated its terms and conditions to use the service.
Jerry Huang, a Shenzhen-based spokesman for Tencent, using the Chinese name for WeChat said, “As part of the commitment to providing quality user experience on Weixin in China, we continually review and take measures on suspicious cases of spam, violent, pornographic and illegal content,”. He also included that, “We also welcome users to report to us online or through our 24-hour hotline.”
WeChat is also famous for spying on users, a number of security researchers have claimed that this application is malicious and tracks a variety of information users have. The app continuously tracks your GPS location, the data on your phone including text messages and contacts and even collect voice samples and call records.
Tencent is supposedly under the watch of Chinese government, and has access to the company’s data every time. In some other countries including India, company has partnered with firms like ibibo to publish WeChat on Play store or App store, which raises a suspicion as anyone is allowed to publish apps on these markets after paying a minimal fee then why this company is using some other firm as a front.