Today’s publication in South China Morning Post confirm what many have feared, yet the parent company Tencent, and developers of the WeChat application have claimed that the story is not true at all.
The report confirms that the Chinese government can retrieve deleted messages in the WeChat app. The app is the most popular messaging application in China and is actually approved by the government. Now we know why.
Both WeChat and Tencent claim that the report is incorrect. According to them WeChat does not keep a history of calls, and this information is only kept locally on user’s phones or computers.
The report states that the party graft-buster in southeastern Hefei had announced that a series of deleted messages had been obtained. “The Chaohu Municipal Discipline Inspection and Supervision Commission in March retrieved a series of deleted WeChat conversations from a suspect,” they stated on social media. With these messages, they were able to identify, investigate, and punish 63 activists.
It is interesting to know whether the Chinese government uses orders to use information or that it simply uses the message service as a tool to spy on suspicious civilians. Presumably, the app would not pass muster in Europe which at the end of next month 25.5 the privacy protection law known as the GDPR will come be enforced.