WeChat denies it Stores User Chats

WeChat on app store

China’s most popular messaging app, WeChat denied allegations that the app was storing chat histories of its users. This follows a businessman’s statement wherein he was quoted saying that he believed WeChat monitored all their user’s accounts.

“WeChat does not store any users’ chat history. That is only stored in users’ mobiles, computers and other terminals,” said WeChat in a statement on the social media platform.

“WeChat will not use any content from user chats for big data analysis. Because of WeChat’s technical model that does not store or analyze user chats, the rumor that ‘we are watching your WeChat everyday’ is pure misunderstanding.”

Tencent Holding’s WeChat, similar to other Chinese social media platform, is required to censor public posts that are seen to be “illegal” by the Communist Party. In WeChat’s privacy policy, it detailed how the app might need to retain and disclose user information. This is due to “a request by a government authority, law enforcement agency or similar body.”

Geely Holdings’, owner of the Volvo car brand, chairman Li Shufu was quoted in Chinese media. He said that Tencent’s Chairman Ma Huateng “must be watching all our WeChats every day.”

WeChat was not immediately available for further comment on the matter.

A report showed that Tencent was ranked at the bottom 11 of tech firms that run the world’s most popular messenger apps. The ranking was based on how the utilize encryption for user privacy protection.

In September, China’s cyber watchdog announced that they will be implementing a new rule. It will make group chat administrators and companies responsible for breaches of content rules.

During the same month, it was able to hand down maximum penalties to tech firms which included Tencent, Baidu Inc., and Weibo Corp. These penalties were due to failure in proper censorship of online content. They then asked them to raise their efforts in content auditing.

WhatsApp Messaging Returns

WhatsApp start-up screen in phone

Popular messaging service, Whatsapp was able to return after it went through a global outage on Sunday. The outage took place for about an hour before they were able to fix the problem.

“WhatsApp users around the world experienced a brief outage today that has now been resolved,” said a WhatsApp spokesperson after an emailed statement. It was not immediately said what caused the one-hour outage.

The app’s biggest market, India, had around 200 million of its more than a billion users complaining due to the outage. WhatsApp was down mere minutes past midnight into the new year.

Users in other countries also voiced out complaints on social media regarding outages.

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