Why not to use Chinese social media apps

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Hong Kong

    Why not to use Chinese social media apps

    So the likes of Weibo and WeChat are making a massive push outside of their home market of China. When I was in Bangkok recently, lots and lots of advertisements for WeChat, however it seems that these apps are actually censoring content, even if you are not in China:


    [Could it be that they are just sticking to a program wide censorship regime rather than region by region, or that their servers are in China??]

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Gold Coast Marina

    LOL - major fail by the chinese on that one!

  3. #3

    Join Date
    May 2012
    Mui Wo, Hong Kong

    Just tested this and didn't get that message.
    But I wouldn't have been surprised.

    And probably because the servers are located in China, wouldn't they still be subject to the censorship rules that are in place?

    Maybe the messages in Hong Kong go to HK servers? Can't be bothered to investigate further during work hours..

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Oct 2005

    And also the China version of Skype:
    China listening in on Skype - Microsoft assumes you approve

    The full text chat messages of TOM-Skype users, along with Skype users who have communicated with TOM-Skype users, are regularly scanned for sensitive keywords, and if present, the resulting data are uploaded and stored on servers in China.
    These text messages, along with millions of records containing personal information, are stored on insecure publicly-accessible web servers together with the encryption key required to decrypt the data.
    The captured messages contain specific keywords relating to sensitive political topics such as Taiwan independence, the Falun Gong, and political opposition to the Communist Party of China.
    Our analysis suggests that the surveillance is not solely keyword-driven. Many of the captured messages contain words that are too common for extensive logging, suggesting that there may be criteria, such as specific usernames, that determine whether messages are captured by the system.

    While these conditions have been known for years, most Skype users are probably not aware of the differences between Tom Skype and the regular Skype. Many are running Tom Skype on their computers thinking that it's the regular Skype and trusting Microsoft to deal with their call and chat data confidentially.