WeChat, a social media app developed by Tencent Holdings, has been blocked by Russian authorities, as it fails to comply with the country’s internet regulations
Users’ access to the most popular social media platform in China had been restricted for almost two weeks now. According to a statement issued by the spokesman of the Roskomnadzor watchdog, the service developers failed to provide their contact details to the Russian official tech communications regulator.
Launched in 2011, WeChat is a free messaging and calling app connecting people across many countries. The service is used by 927 million people worldwide. As the situation is still under assessment, the latest ban directly affects Chinese tourists and Russians citizens with commercial interests in China.
Similarly, LinkedIn has also been temporarily blocked in Russia last year, with Microsoft violating the Russian laws regarding storage of its citizens’ personal data.
On the other hand, Facebook and Twitter are currently censored in China, as “cyber sovereignty” is a top priority of President Xi’s policy.
Currently, the two parts are discussing ways to solve the problem, as the Russian restrictions “triggered wide complaints from the Chinese living in Russia, who said it has affected their daily life and work.”