What if whatever you communicate through messaging app is read by the government of app origin. What would be your concern? Those private messages, which you thought would have end-to-end privacy encryption on the platform, right? Well, then you should be concerned if you are on or using WeChat or Weixin, China’s most popular messaging app owned by Tencent, which is just about sharing everything that users type into the app.
In the new policy, it says the Log Data that it collects to power in-app advertising and direct marketing activities and other Personal Information can be disclosed.
The statistic points that, WeChat is China’s equivalent of WhatsApp and is used by 963 million mobile users, which makes it the dominant messaging app in China and one of the largest in the world.
The messaging app expanded into the countries like the US, Europe, and Africa and ran a heavy advertising campaign in Italy, India, South Africa, and Spain.
Because of its non-cooperation, WeChat was blocked in September 2013 in Iran.
“Because WeChat collects phone data and monitors member activity and because app developers are outside of the country and not cooperating, this software has been blocked, so you can use domestic applications for cheap voice calls, video calls and messaging,” it cited as a reason to block.
WeChat already censors sensitive words shared in the app indicating that the company processes and monitors user’s shared data including chat messages.
In May 2012, WeChat entered India through a partnership with ibibo (MIH India), where ibibo helps distribute and market the app in the Indian market.
Earlier, the Intelligence Bureau (IB) has apparently proposed a ban on Chinese instant messaging platform, citing concerns over the proliferation of such service could cause a threat to national security.
China mobile internet company had made aggressive inroads in India. It has awareness of content usability, which it mines and later uses to sell ads to garner revenue.
This might sound alarming to users, especially from other countries on the app, who would rather want their private data to be private and safe.