WeChat has confirmed that it’s sharing users’ personal info with the Chinese government. The company has updated its privacy statement declaring that it must do so in order to “comply with applicable laws or regulations”, among other things.
The data WeChat shares with the authorities includes names, contacts, email addresses, and in some cases even your exact location. Online searches performed while using the app can also be seen by the company.
For those of you who don’t know, WeChat is the most popular messaging app in China with well over 600 million users. It’s an alternative to services like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, a lot of which are actually blocked in the country. The Chinese government is doing everything it can to get rid of foreign services in an effort to control online activities and get access to as much sensitive data from local companies as possible.
Of course, WeChat is not exclusive to China, as it is available to anyone who wants to use it. You can download it to your device via the Play Store, which is something we don’t recommend at this point due to privacy concerns. There are plenty of similar apps available including Skype and Google Allo, in addition to those already mentioned in this post.