Russia blocks Chinese instant messaging app

Phillip Butler
May 7, 2017

Russian telecoms watchdog Roskomnadzor has listed China's WeChat, the popular social media app developed by Tencent Technology, on the register of prohibited websites, according to information posted on the regulator's website on Friday.

The authorities took action after the company failed to discharge the various responsibilities regarding information distribution on the internet, the newspaper stated.

Since it launched in 2011, WeChat has become China's most popular mobile social media platform.

"Tencent is aware of the move and communicating with Russian authorities over the matter", a brief statement from the Shenzhen-based company said. 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. The law also requires companies to provide users' personal data to law enforcement agencies, if necessary. Moscow is so much impressed with Beijing's model of internet censorship that it invited Great Firewall architect Fang Binxing to speak at a forum on internet safety.

Russian Federation has banned Chinese instant messaging app WeChat, saying its operator failed to register with the appropriate authorities.

China has itself blocked foreign social media, including Facebook and Twitter.

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

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