Tencent’s WeChat announced Tuesday that it will temporarily suspend registration for new Chinese users while it complies with the “relevant laws, regulations,” making it the most recent Chinese company to be subject to regulatory scrutiny on the largest internet market in the world.
Tencent stated in a post on social media that it was “upgrading its security technology” to comply with all applicable laws. While this is happening, “registration for new Weixin (WeChat’s Chinese app), personal and official accounts have been temporarily suspended.”
“Registration services can be restored once the upgrade is completed, which is anticipated in early August,” stated WeChat. It has more than 1.2 billion active monthly users in China, as of this year.
Although it is not clear what law WeChat is using in the announcement, this comes amid an extensive crackdown by Chinese regulators on tech companies. In recent weeks, the crackdown has resulted in billions in market capital for Chinese companies and many prominent global investors such as SoftBank being affected.
WeChat has not had to make this step in over a decade. WeChat is a Chinese super-app. Weixin offers a message service and also lets users make online payments.
It’s different in other countries. Donald Trump signed an order banning transactions using TikTok or WeChat in America last year. These actions were rescinded by President Joe Biden last month and replaced.
Analysts believe the Chinese government may be concerned by the rise of tech companies in China and the privacy of citizens’ personal data.
China’s cybersecurity regulator had ordered Didi, the ride-hailing app giant, to cease signing up new customers earlier this month. This was days following Didi’s initial public offering of $4.4 billion on the New York Stock Exchange. The regulator claimed that Didi’s Chinese app illegally collected customer personal data.
Publiated at Tue 27 July 2021, 10:30:04 +0000