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China Communications Privacy

China's WeChat Denies Storing User Chats (reuters.com) 49

WeChat, China's most popular messenger app, on Tuesday denied storing users' chat histories, after a top businessman was quoted in media reports as saying he believed Tencent was monitoring everyone's account. From a report: " WeChat does not store any users' chat history. That is only stored in users' mobiles, computers and other terminals," WeChat said in a post on the social media platform. "WeChat will not use any content from user chats for big data analysis. Because of WeChat's technical model that does not store or analyse user chats, the rumour that 'we are watching your WeChat everyday' is pure misunderstanding." More than 900 million people use WeChat.
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China's WeChat Denies Storing User Chats

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  • Riiiiiiight...... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Ritz_Just_Ritz ( 883997 ) on Tuesday January 02, 2018 @10:44AM (#55848449)

    I don't believe that denial for a millisecond. Coming from the government that was able to get a screen shot of what anyone in a public internet cafe was doing in real time 10 years ago....

    • by Anonymous Coward

      What's not to believe? Just because WeChat doesn't store it doesn't mean someone else isn't.

    • by Kiuas ( 1084567 ) on Tuesday January 02, 2018 @11:04AM (#55848533)

      Coming from the government that was able to get a screen shot of what anyone in a public internet cafe was doing in real time 10 years ago.

      This is not coming from the government. This is coming from the company.

      It's perfectly possible that everything they've said is accurate, they only stated that they themselves are not monitoring the chats, they never claimed that they've not given the government access to the data for them to be able to do monitoring, which is certainly happening.

    • Have you ever seen someone using wechat? imagine facebook except more banal. who would WANT to store all its traffic???

      • You have no idea.
        Imagine Wechat being your electronic payment for online and offline transactions and imagine booking an appointment with your dentist or a flight to a conference using Wechat.
        Wechat seems to be completely underestimated in the west though it has more than 500mn users for these services.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      There is another thing people forget. Chinese companies have to have government officials from their military and intel branches on their boards of directors. Similar, where Chinese ventures with foreign companies have to be 51% owned by China (and this are actively controlled by their government), having chats "accidentally" log is not surprising. At least in the US or Europe, if you want something made on their soil, you don't have to have an officer from MI5 or the CIA actively vote and decide what ha

      • by Anonymous Coward
        Complete fabrication
        • by Nidi62 ( 1525137 )

          Complete fabrication

          I don't see how anyone could argue with such a thoughtful, well-reasoned, and comprehensively cited rebuttal as this.

          • There is usually little point arguing with people who's hatred of China is part of their religious belief system. Especially if they are AC. So you get the rebuttal instead.

            From the Chinese government perspective, companies that are 25% or more controlled by foreign investors is a Foreign Invested Enterprise (FIE).The most common FIE is the Wholly Foreign Owned Enterprise (WFOE), which is a limited liability company. The original intent of the WFOE structure was to encourage the export of technology-driven manufacturing activities. However, in practice, it has primarily been used to set up management and consulting services for foreign companies looking to get a quick start in the Chinese economy.

            You or the idiot who modded him up could have easily gone to google and stuck in 'how to start a business in china' and found the truth.
            People who think 'it's bad' + it's about China' = true, are not the kind of people who are swayed by facts or evidence, they are a lost cause already. They already believe what they want to believe.
            Di

      • Now 2 idiots whose China = bad reflex kicked in.

        The most common ways that companies start doing business in China (legally) is by forming a WFOE (A Wholly Foreign Owned Entity) or by partnering with an existing Chinese business through some form of joint venture.

        https://www.chinalawblog.com/2... [chinalawblog.com]

    • by Megol ( 3135005 )

      I don't believe that denial for a millisecond.

      Why should we care? Why would your beliefs be of interest given that you write things like:

      Coming from the government that was able to get a screen shot of what anyone in a public internet cafe was doing in real time 10 years ago....

      1) it isn't coming from the government. China have allowed private companies for a long time now. This is from a private company.
      and
      2) that would be impossible in general.

    • Logically, the government needs the chats sent to them immediately so they can look for "problems", and logically the government will want to record everything so they can make comparisons to older chats, and logically the company doesn't want the expense of logging stuff if they don't have to- so I expect the company really doesn't record those chats.
    • by antdude ( 79039 )

      I don't trust any services. How do we really know they are not really keeping copies, watching, etc.? :P

  • And how about the phone's cloud backup of the app's content, that the government probably insisted that they have access to as part of the phone manufacturer being allowed to do business in China?
  • *Never Believe Anything Until It Is Officially Denied*

    • by Megol ( 3135005 )

      A good saying for idiots. Or conspiracy theorists.

      A sane person analyse the situation and don't care about denials or confirmation _unless_ they come with enough information to be relevant for further analysis.

  • A very narrow denial. Locally stored chats are still retrievable by tencent.
  • Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

  • It's actually stored in the Chinese Military databases, not by WeChat, they're just a passthru. It's like if you asked if any of the early network hijack software I wrote "stored user data", I could say "No", because it would pass it on to the collector dumps and then delete it once passed on.

    The world is a lot more fun than we let on, and a lot of stuff they thought was turned off is still running, in places you would never guess. Always inspect the total stream, not the official bounded stream. Signals ar

  • Possibilities:
    1) WeChat does not store, but they have an internal system called TheyChat
    2) The data were directly followed to the Communist fascist
    3) Chat data 50 years were not classified as history
  • They just come to your house in the middle of the night and kidnap you and lie to your family why you were held in a secret prison for five years without charges. [1] [2] [3] [4] Welcome to China. This is just in the past two years. Anything you write on that WeChat, you better look behind your back.

    [1] Monk held in secret prison for unknown charge for post on WeChat [rfa.org]
    [2] Man sentenced to nine months in jail for WeChat message [supchina.com]
    [3] Tsering Dondrub jailed in 2015 for posting picture on WeChat [freetibet.org]
    [4] China jails mu [scmp.com]

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