Russian Federation blocks China's social media app WeChat

Lena Tucker
May 7, 2017

China's instant messaging app WeChat is seen on a phone in Moscow, Russia, May 6, 2017.

Tencent reportedly said that it was aware of the status of its WeChat app in Russia and was communicating with Russian authorities on the issue.

"We're experiencing a block and we're deeply sorry", a company official said on a Tencent microblog.

Russian Federation required internet service providers to register with related government bodies, but Tencent "had a different understanding" on this issue, the company said.

Russian telecom watchdog Roskomnadzor has listed WeChat service among the prohibited websites in Russia, Russia's news agency TASS reported Friday.

Previous sites that have been blocked by Article 15.4 include messenger BlackBerry, Imo, Line, Vchat video chat and online radio Zello, according to a report by RBC TV.

Russia revised its data privacy law in 2015, and stipulates that all companies processing personal data of Russian citizens must store it on servers within Russia and provide it to law enforcement if necessary.

Meanwhile social media applications such as Facebook and Twitter are blocked in China, with President Xi Jinping a vocal advocate of so-called cyber sovereignty. It had almost 900 million active users at the end of 2016.

Access has been restricted since May 4, according to information posted on the Russian regulator's website.

The authorities took action after the company failed to discharge the various responsibilities regarding information distribution on the internet, the newspaper stated.

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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