Tencent in contact with Russian authorities following Wechat ban

Audrey Hill
May 7, 2017

Russian telecom blocks access to WeChat messenger appRussian authorities have banned China's most popular messaging service, WeChat.

The most popular mobile messaging applications in Russian Federation previous year were Mail.ru's VKontakte, Facebook's WhatsApp and Rakuten's Viber, according to consultants J'son & Partners.

Watchdog Roskomnadzor published the information on its website on Friday, the newspaper said, adding that Chinese tech giant Tencent was aware of the move.

Tencent says it's in contact with Russian authorities over its ban on the use of messaging apps connected to Wechat. According to Russia's regulation on Internet management, online service providers must have to register with related government bodies in the country, while WeChat had a different understanding over the issue.

Currently, some WeChat users in Moscow have been unable to log in or send messages.

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A law passed in 2014 requires foreign messaging services, search engines and social networking sites to store the personal data of Russian users inside Russia.

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

According to a recent report from Slate, Russia is trying to imitate China's approach on internet control after the web fanned its largest anti-government protests in five years.

The South China Morning Post said the app was blocked following Article 15.4 of the law on information, information technologies, and information security, according to Roskomnadzor.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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