The Wechat app probably does not say much to you, but it is now the same for the Chinese as a whole lifestyle. At Wechat you do everything: from ordering a pizza to requesting a divorce. As a Chinese internet user explained to tech site The Parallax: “I met my wife there. I pay the energy bill. The group treasure of my company is there. ‘
Those who do not use Wechat are socially dead or at least fundamentally unreachable. Even those who want to undertake in China cannot ignore Wechat. That omnipotence is beginning to frighten some Chinese people, says Hope News.
With 1 billion accounts (almost as many as there are autonomous internet users in China), Wechat dominates the market. This was only possible because the parent company Tencent accepted the rules of the Chinese government.
All information on Wechat can, therefore, be requested in a judicial investigation. Wechat must also keep records of data usage per account for at least six months. Besides, Wechat smoothly censors content at the request of the government.
Wechat probably already uses artificial intelligence to censor specific ‘sensitive’ keywords and keeps internet users away from websites that are not owned by Tencent. In March, for example, it even blocked the e-commerce company Alibaba and the news collection site Jinri Toutiao.
The Chinese news site Sixth Tone reports that more and more Chinese people are worried. A few people try to stay outside Wechat, like the lawyer Zhu. “I know they’re collecting my data and I just want more dignity.” The Telegram app, which protects the identity of users, is on the rise with Chinese people. In March, internet users gave a CEO the full layer because he said that ‘Chinese want to give up privacy for convenience and security’.