Chinese government anti-corruption watchdog claims access to deleted WeChat messages


In 2018, the Chinese Communist Party's anti-corruption watchdog in southeastern Hefei in the Anhul province claimed in a social media post that its branch in a neighbouring city had retrieved deleted messages from a suspect's WeChat account. Tencent, WeChat's operator, denied that the company stored or performed data analytics on users' chat histories, and said that histories and messages were only stored on users' own phones and computers. The watchdog went on to question numerous suspects; between January and April 2018 it punched 63 cadres. A day later, the posting was deleted - but not before inspiring many Chinese to open a discussion about privacy on social media such as Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter.

Writer: Jun Mai
Publication: South China Morning Post


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