Russian Federation blocks China's social media app WeChat

Janie Parker
May 7, 2017

China's WeChat, the popular social media app developed by Tencent Holdings, is now blocked in Russian Federation as it failed to abide by certain laws meant for internet service providers in the country.

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.

"WeChat did not provide the contact information necessary for registration with authorities", Xinhua news agency quoted Vadim Ampelonsky, spokesman of Russian telecommunication watchdog Roskomnadzor, as saying on Friday.

Tencent, WeChat's Shenzhen-based parent company, is now communicating with Russian authorities over the ban.

Internet-based companies which have links in Russian Federation are required to register with the government.

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

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

Earlier in the week, Roskomnadzor placed Blackberry Messenger and Line on its list of banned services for the same reasons, RIA reported.

WeChat owner Tencent says it is in talks with relevant authorities in Russian Federation.

China has itself blocked many foreign social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter, on the basis of domestic regulations.

Roskomnadzor also said on its website that the authorities blocked the WeChat app because it failed to discharge various responsibilities the law imposes on organisers of information distribution on the internet.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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