Feeds

China chastises cheeky chirpers with WeChat clampdown

No matter where they post, the Great Firewall springs up to shut them down

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

China’s censors appear to have turned their focus onto Tencent’s popular WeChat messaging platform, suspending and blocking several widely read public accounts in a bid to control online discussions.

At least 12 accounts, some of which had hundreds of thousands of followers, were suspended last week and replaced with the following message (tr TechInAsia):

Due to reports from users that have been confirmed, all functions for this public account have been shut down for violating regulations. We suggest you cancel your subscription.

Others were apparently shut down completely by the authorities with no official explanation, although many are said to have published potentially controversial political and news-related content.

These include the Zhenhua Channel run by major web media organisation NetEase, according to the South China Morning Post.

The clampdown on WeChat can be seen in terms of a wider bid by Xi Jinping administration to strictly control the boundaries of what can be discussed on social media.

Already strict new penalties have been imposed on those found guilty of spreading online “rumours” on the country’s microblogging platforms like Sina Weibo, while real-name registration is required for all users.

The government has also pressured influential celebrity users on the site known as "Big Vs" to dial back their rhetoric.

As such, WeChat was seen by many as a relatively unfettered communication platform – until now.

Although this censorship applies only to users inside the Great Firewall, the news will not help Tencent in its bid to expand the service globally, especially as all messages must pass through its servers in the Middle Kingdom.

Last year the firm was left red-faced after it emerged that even international users’ messages were being blocked for containing forbidden words – although Tencent later blamed a technical glitch. ®

Application security programs and practises

More from The Register

next story
ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION
Environmental activist walks free after hoax sent share price over a cliff
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
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.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.