China Puts Squeeze on WeChat and Other Messaging Apps

WeChat China logo

WeChat China logo. Image: WeChat / Tencent.

China is launching a new month-long crackdown on popular instant messaging platforms including Tencent’s WeChat messaging application in the latest campaign targeting social media companies.

The move comes in the run-up to the 25th anniversary of the pro-democracy Tiananmen Square protests on June 4.

According to the state media, three government agencies will conduct a month-long “special operation” to monitor WeChat and other platforms. Authorities are asking for tipsters to call or email them. WeChat public accounts will be targeted.

Since 2013, WeChat has replaced Weibo as a news source for savvy mobile users in China. Unlike Weibo, WeChat has more than twice as many monthly active users – 396 million – than Sina Weibo’s 143.8 million, but most WeChat users send their messages privately rather than sharing them publicly.

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Written by Abby Liu
Global Voices

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