WeChat Censored in China


China reportedly deleted number of accounts pertaining to some high-profile users. It is widely believed that this Chinese government crackdown is due to the increased private chatting numbers across China using WeChat mobile application which is similar to Whatsapp. The company defended its action by saying it has done so to safeguard user experience. More than two seventy million Chinese use this application platform for private chatting and the government did not impose any restriction on it thus far.

Those important users deleted from WeChat are reportedly that of widely known journalist belonging to liberal political views. The App owner has published a statement saying the company user policy strictly prohibits any use of political views on the mobile platform even among friends. He also added that cutting down on illegal activities on their mobile platform is the top most priority. Many of the world powers had already warned China in regards to its human right violations. Google search engine and many other web services are blocked from common public in China.

Pundits believe this new crackdown on technology is a signal of things to come. Those WeChat accounts deleted were being followed by millions of Chinese and the government reportedly felt the chills and so, took this harsh step quickly. WeChat is raising to the top as China’s premier social media platform and is just behind Weibo that is China’s micro blogging giant. Apparently, Weibo (Twitter equivalent in China) has filed for initial public offering in America for five hundred million dollars. It also released application for Apple Mac Lion OS users today in both English and Chinese enhancing its brand value. Now the mobile messaging app provides services in all seven operating system platforms.

Few days ago analysts  Credit Lyonnais Security Asia has claimed that if Zuckerberg of Facebook thinks Whatsapp is over $19 billion then, WeChat would be easily worth more than $60 billion. Analysts claim Whatsapponly gets a revenue of $1.00 per download but WeChat draws revenues from varied programs they offer such as mobile gaming, internet financing etc. They also expect WeChat to hit 450 million users each drawing one hundred and forty-two dollars.

Wechat red envelope program which assists users to transfer money using internet p2p is also a big revenue option in their platform. They are also planning on introducing taxi mobile application. Messaging mania has gripped China in recent months and WeChat made full use of it by releasing multiple new features to its platform.

Human rights activists across the globe are alarmed by this new censorship move from China. Many opposing voices were heard last month about China’s authoritarian internet policing after the US social media company LinkedIn entered the Chinese market agreeing to the imposed government restrictions on their website. This latest government censorship in China made some liberal Chinese angry as they called it yet another Communist strike to extent their authoritarian hold on China. WeChat censorship came the same day as the Chinese Communist Party annual meeting.

By Vikas Vemuri

Media Online