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WeChat Suspends New User Registration for Security Compliance

Company suspends new users as it ‘aligns with relevant laws’ on data; Move follows crackdown on Didi over alleged data misuse 

A logo of Tencent is seen during the World Internet Conference (WIC) in Wuzhen, Zhejiang province, China, November 23, 2020. Photo: Reuters
  • Company suspends new users as it ‘aligns with relevant laws’ on data
  • Move follows crackdown on Didi over alleged data misuse 


(AF) Tencent’s WeChat has moved to avoid the sort of blowback from regulators seen by Didi Group and Ant Group.

China’s dominant instant messaging platform said it has put a halt to registering new users while it undergoes a technical upgrade “to align with relevant laws and regulations”.

“We are currently upgrading our security technology to align with all relevant laws and regulations,” the company said in a statement to Reuters.

“During this time, registration of new Weixin personal and official accounts has been temporarily suspended. Registration services will be restored after the upgrade is complete, which is expected in early August,” the company said. Weixin is the Chinese name for WeChat.

The move follows a regulatory crackdown by cybersecurity authorities on Didi, forcing the company to pull its apps off the devices of millions of users just days after an IPO in the US. Criticised as an act of pique by China, regulators said the company had breached data rules.

Ant earlier was forced to pull a blockbuster double IPO in the US and China following a spat between Jack Ma, the founder and chief executive of parent firm Alibaba,  and Chinese banking chiefs.

China is in the process of tightening its policy towards privacy and data security. It is readying a Personal Information Protection Law, which calls for tech platforms to impose stricter measures to ensure secure storage of user data.


Reporting by Reuters


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Mark McCord

Mark McCord is a financial journalist with more than three decades experience writing and editing at global news wires including Bloomberg and AFP, as well as daily newspapers in Hong Kong, Sydney and Melbourne. He has covered some of the biggest breaking news events in recent years including the Enron scandal, the New York terrorist attacks and the Iraq War. He is based in the UK. You can tweet to Mark at @MarkMcC64371550.


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