Feeds

Sorry for the censorship says Chinese chat service

Tencent blames technical glitch for WeChat foreign censorship incident

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Chinese web giant Tencent has released a statement blaming a “technical glitch” for problems that last week led to disruptions for international users of its popular WeChat app last week.

The popular Whatsapp-like application is approaching 300 million global users and although most of these are still located in the People’s Republic, the service is increasingly favoured by users beyond the middle kingdom.

However, in an apparent blow to Tencent’s international expansion plans reports emerged at the tail end of last week that users were finding messages containing certain words China's government isn't fond ofwere being blocked.

Tests of the service in Singapore and Thailand and found that any attempts to reference China's controversial Southern Weekly newspaper led to the following error message: “The message ‘南方周末’ you sent contains restricted words. Please check it again.”

Just why Tencent chose language that reeks of censorship for its error message is anyone's guess, but the company has now apologised for doing so in the following statement sent to The Reg:

"A small number of WeChat international users were not able to send certain messages due to a technical glitch this Thursday. Immediate actions have been taken to rectify it. We apologise for any inconvenience it has caused to our users. We will continue to improve the product features and technological support to provide better user experience."

One possible explanation for the strongly-worded message is that the keyword blocking filter was accidentally turned on by Tencent for users outside of China.

If the web firm is to successfully expand internationally and avoid bad publicity like this in future, perhaps some servers outside the Great Firewall are in order. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Brits: Google, can you scrape 60k pages from web, pleeease
Hey, c'mon Choc Factory, it's our 'right to be forgotten'
Of COURSE Stephen Elop's to blame for Nokia woes, says author
'Google did have some unique propositions for Nokia'
FCC, Google cast eye over millimetre wireless
The smaller the wave, the bigger 5G's chances of success
It's even GRIMMER up North after MEGA SKY BROADBAND OUTAGE
By 'eck! Eccles cake production thrown into jeopardy
Mobile coverage on trains really is pants
You thought it was just *insert your provider here*, but now we have numbers
Don't mess with Texas ('cos it's getting Google Fiber and you're not)
A bit late, but company says 1Gbps Austin network almost ready to compete with AT&T
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.