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When you use a Chinese messaging app, What is your data privacy?

Li Shufu, chairman of Geely Holding, called for his chairman and compatriot Ma Huateng to “see our Wechat every day” because he can do so. The Shenzhen-based social media giant posted a response saying it would not conduct a business analysis with WeChat’s data.

However, a review of Chinese laws and regulations shows that companies such as Tencent launched the Wechat app in 2011 and may have no choice but to keep records. WeChat is known as WeChat on the mainland and has more than 1 billion users worldwide.

A study by Citizen Labs at the University of Toronto found that a WeChat account registered with a phone number in mainland China can filter out keywords or block email anywhere in the world, as long as the same username is retained. According to a study by a research group, the law states that wechat users may be censored even if they leave China or switch to overseas phone numbers.


How to avoid getting your WeChat news to be censored

Last June, China Network Security Law required network operators to store selected data on domestic servers, monitor and record network operations, and keep relevant logs for no less than six months. It said that accounts established outside the mainland would not face the same restrictions, for example, through carriers in Hong Kong or the United States. Jason Ng, a Citroen Lab researcher, said: “It’s a disturbing thing that you can not get away from the censorship rules imposed on you when registering.


The dual system is crucial to understanding how Tencent Holdings can expand the country’s most sought-after overseas messaging service while still keeping control of information within the domestic government. 
As a SMS platform operator, Tencent’s WeChat and Sina Weibo also need to post a policy statement on their website to remind users not to violate rules, limit posting, suspend or close the account, and keep relevant records. Ministry of Industry and Information Technology regulatory agencies. In its service agreement, WeChat said it has the power to decide on how long to store personal user data based on specific circumstances.


A study by the Citizen’s Laboratory at the University of Toronto found that a WeChat account registered at a phone number in mainland China can filter out keywords or block email anywhere in the world, as long as the username stays the same. 
It said that accounts set up outside the mainland would not face the same restrictions, for example, through carriers in Hong Kong or the United States.


Citroen Lab researcher Jason Ng said: “At the time of registration, you can not get rid of the review rules imposed on you, which is disturbing.

The dual system is crucial to understanding how Tencent Holdings is expanding its most popular overseas messaging business in the country while keeping control of domestic government information.


China closed more than 13,000 websites in the past three years, “maintaining a clean
cyber space

As a SMS platform operator, Tencent’s WeChat and Sina Weibo also need to post a policy statement on their website and warn users not to violate relevant laws, restrict the posting of posts, suspend or close accounts, and keep relevant records. Ministry of Industry and Information Technology regulatory agencies.


Outside of China, social media carriers like Facebook have encountered strict privacy laws like those in Europe. Last month, the French data protection agency released its WhatsApp messaging service every month to stop sharing user data with its parent company, Facebook, without obtaining the necessary consent.


Internet companies collect user data to analyze possible patterns such as more targeted recommendations in the case of music streaming or related news stories that are of interest based on their past browsing history. The development of artificial intelligence uses computing power to discover patterns hidden in consumer behavior, providing a new impetus to privacy debates.

Civic Labs’ research on Thursday showed that WeChat has 846 million active users who scraped on news posts deemed sensitive and blocked private-with-words in one-on-one and group chatting text. Tencent said it complies with local laws and regulations in its home country.

The company said in a statement on Thursday: “WeChat always sticks to the core mission of creating value for Tencent.

Researchers tested 26,821 keywords blocked on other sites, including Weibo and YY Inc.

They found that 174 words such as “Free Tibet” and “Islamic State Crisis” triggered a news check.

If these words are detected by China WeChat server, the mail will not be sent.

Research shows that more words are being monitored in group chat, not in one-on-one messages, most likely due to the ability to reach more users.

The study found that some of the words that were initially blacklisted were later discovered and new words kept added.

The report said: “WeChat is under increasing regulatory pressure in recent years.” This strict regulatory environment has led to the suspicion that communications on WeChat may be monitored. “

Lotus Ruan, a Citizen Lab researcher, said Tencent also stopped informing users whether they intercepted their information and made it less transparent.

WeChat allegedly censoring photos from Hong Kong protests

SMS sent by overseas users to China account will not appear on the recipient’s application.

Tencent is a growing body of companies that have succumbed to being part of the operating review in jurisdictions like China.

According to a report from Citizen Lab 2014, Line Corp also filters keywords for Chinese users. It is said that Facebook is developing a system for scrapping content deemed inappropriate by Chinese regulators in order to gain market access. New York Times Week.

Source:
From <http://www.scmp.com/tech/article/2126714/heres-what-happens-your-data-when-you-use-chinese-messaging-app>
From <http://www.scmp.com/news/china/policies-politics/article/2051054/how-avoid-getting-your-wechat-messages-censored-both>