China said numerous apps had illegally transferred user data and ordered parent companies including Tencent Holdings‘ WeChat to rectify their mistakes or face punishment as regulators continue to tighten their oversight of privacy and data.
The 43 apps had illegally transferred users’ contact lists and location data, while also harassing them with pop-up windows, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) said in an online statement on Wednesday.
The list also included an e-reading app owned by Alibaba Group Holding, as well as others managed by travel giant Trip.com, and video streamer iQiyi. MIIT said the apps will have until August 25 to fix things or be punished.
Alibaba iQiyi and Tencent did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Trip.com declined to comment.
On Tuesday, China’s State Administration for Market Regulation published a set of draft rules aimed at improving fair competition, banning practices such as fake reviews and inflated public metrics.
• Reuters and Jim Pollard