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Update: China’s Tencent ‘deeply sorry’ for Russia WeChat block

Saturday, May 6, 2017 - 13:51

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Russia's telecoms watchdog has blocked China's WeChat, the popular social media app developed by Tencent Holdings, the South China Morning Post said on Saturday, citing information posted on the Russian regulator's website.

[HONG KONG] Chinese internet giant Tencent said Saturday it was “deeply sorry” its messaging app WeChat was blocked in Russia, adding it was in touch with authorities to resolve the issue.

WeChat, which had 889 million global users by the end of 2016, was not properly registered with Russian regulators, Tencent said.

It is not clear how many Russia-based users the app has.

“We’re experiencing a block and we’re deeply sorry,” a company official said on a Tencent microblog.

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“Russian regulations say online service providers have to register with the government but WeChat doesn’t have the same understanding (of the rules),” the official added.

Watchdog Roskomnadzor published the information on its website on Friday, the South China Morning Post said.

SCMP said access to the app was restricted on the basis of Article 15.4 of the law on information, information technologies and information security, according to Roskomnadzor.

 

Sanctions are stipulated for failure to discharge the various responsibilities of organisers of information distribution on the internet, the newspaper said.

Social media applications such as Facebook and Twitter are blocked in China, while Chinese President Xi Jinping has been a vocal advocate of so-called cyber sovereignty.

Since it launched in 2011, WeChat has become China's most popular mobile social media platform.

AFP/REUTERS

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