very site that is uniquely blocked on China accounts is fully accessible on International accounts, meaning that international users can successfully access the same URLs with We Chat’s internal browser.
However, the impact of these efforts has been questionable.
Tencent has never disclosed how many active users it has outside of China, but We Chat has yet to make the same impact in other countries as it has in its home market.
This change means there is no feedback to users that censorship has occured making the restrictions on We Chat less transparent.
Censored keywords spanned a range of content, including current events, politics, and social issues.
Companies are expected to invest in staff and filtering technologies to moderate content and stay in compliance with government regulations.
Failure to comply can lead to fines or revocation of operating licenses.
In 2010, China’s State Council Information Office (SCIO) published a major government-issued document on its Internet policy.
It includes a list of prohibited topics that are vaguely defined, including “disrupting social order and stability” and “damaging state honor and interests.” In late-May 2014, China’s State Internet Information Office (SIIO), Ministry of Public Security (MPS), and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) jointly launched a month-long campaign targeting Chinese instant messaging (IM) services in a bid to clean up “illegal and harmful information” and to fend off “hostile forces at home and abroad.” In recent years, We Chat has faced increased regulatory pressures.
We Chat thrives on the huge user base it has amassed in China, but the Chinese market carries unique challenges.
Any Internet company operating in China is subject to laws and regulations that hold companies legally responsible for content on their platforms.
We Chat, (Weixin 微信 in Chinese), is the dominant chat application in China and fourth largest in the world, with 806 million monthly active users.