Tencent's messaging app WeChat halts new user registrations in China

Tencent's subsidiary WeChat has temporality closed new user registrations in China. As per Reuters, the move is to enable the company to upgrade its tech "to align with relevant laws and regulations" in mainland China.

WeChat is expected to restore registration services after completing the upgrade in early August. For those unversed with Chinese messaging apps, WeChat's local Chinese version is known as Weixin. Based on the latest numbers, WeChat has over 1.2 billion monthly active users most of which are from China.

According to Reuters, the Chinese regime is in the process of "tightening its policy towards privacy and data security". It also claims that China readying a Personal Information Protection Law. The news is kind of ironic considering that according to BBC, Wall Street Journal, and Wired, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) uses WeChat data for its massive surveillance network.

In Amnesty International's 2016 report that studied technology companies on encryption and human rights, WeChat's Tencent scored zero out of 100. In the same year, Citizen Lab published a report on WeChat highlighting how the Chinese messaging app didn't notify users after blocking their messages.

In the last few months, the CCP has also tamed big tech companies such as Alibaba and Didi. Many analysts believe that the Chinese government's actions are meant to send out a message that Beijing is in charge.

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