Feeds

Sorry for the censorship says Chinese chat service

Tencent blames technical glitch for WeChat foreign censorship incident

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

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. ®

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

More from The Register

next story
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
Microsoft unsheathes cheap Android-killer: Behold, the Lumia 530
Say it with us: I'm King of the Landfill-ill-ill-ill
All those new '5G standards'? Here's the science they rely on
Radio professor tells us how wireless will get faster in the real world
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
Oh girl, you jus' didn't: Level 3 slaps Verizon in Netflix throttle blowup
Just hook us up to more 10Gbps ports, backbone biz yells in tit-for-tat spat
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.