China targets WeChat in online crackdown

2014-05-28 14:35
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The WeChat social network has 300 million subscribers. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Cape Town - China has moved to restrict online chat applications in a move to limit what the government calls "rumours and infiltration of hostile forces".

According to a report on the Guardian, WeChat, used by 300 million people has come under scrutiny as the Chinese government seeks to deal with dissent in some areas of the country.

China has an online population of some 500 million, and many have taken to mobile communications technologies to bypass the so-called Great Firewall of China - an extensive network that censors online content.

The government says that it is intent on trying to prevent illegal activities such as the promotion of pornography and content publishers have to adhere to strict rules.

The targeting of WeChat may be related to the deadly attacks in the restive province of Xinjiang. At least 43 people were killed and 90 injured in an attack that the government has labelled as a terrorist act.

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