WeChat users, your personal data and browsing history are sent to China

Chinese social media platform WeChat warns users outside China that their data will be stored on servers inside the country, RFA reported.

A number of overseas WeChat users received a notification on September 6, warning that “personal data (including) likes, comments, browsing and search history, content downloads, etc.” will be forwarded to China.

The notification also reminds users that their behavior while using the app is subject to the WeChat License Agreement and Privacy Policy.

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A YouTuber living in France who only gave the pseudonym Miss Crook said she was shocked to receive a French translation of the same message, RFA reported.

“I clicked and…this message popped up, so I automatically clicked cancel,” she said. “The difference between a democracy and a dictatorship becomes clear.”

She said the move is likely to affect a large number of Chinese nationals and emigrants living overseas.

“Overseas Chinese have become very dependent on WeChat, but is it really that important?” she says. “We can actually stop using it completely, so we shouldn’t let them confuse us. It’s really not that important.

In the face of growing international privacy concerns, WeChat said in September 2021 that it had “separated” its data storage facilities for domestic and international users, asking foreign users to re-sign the data. terms and conditions to continue using the app, which many people rely on to send money to people in China, make purchases in Chinese yuan, and keep in touch with friends and family.

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Former Sina Weibo censor Liu Lipeng said the move was largely cosmetic, RFA reported.

“Last year…WeChat re-signed its agreements with all foreign users, but everything in it, except one-to-one chats, must use WeChat protocols,” said Liu. “So as soon as you click OK, you’re back in (the Chinese version).”

“Everything you write is still available (to the Chinese authorities), so it’s basically a sleight of hand. Nothing has changed,” he said. “You are still a WeChat user.”

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US lawyer Teng Biao said WeChat’s parent company, Tencent, is already obligated under Chinese cybersecurity law to help the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) with all the data it says it has. need, as are all other internet service providers and social media platforms. in China, RFA reported.

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