China Clamping Down on Apps for Instant Messaging

China has started a crackdown of one month on illegal content making the rounds on local services offering instant messaging.

The most recent crackdown was announced on Tuesday and comes following a terrorist attack in the Xinjiang region of China that killed over 40 people.

Police following the attack, arrested more than 200 suspected militants. Those militants had been chatting on local services offering instant messaging to organize activities, according to the press that is controlled by the state.

The messaging services involved included QQ and WeChat, two of the more popular ones in China and developed by Tencent a local behemoth in the Internet.

China will target rumors, porn-related information and terrorism in this operation. Specifically the Chinese authorities want to regulate how the mobile apps for instant messaging can spread the different data and information to the entire public.

The Xinhua News Agency in China said that some individuals were using the messaging platforms to disseminate illegal, unhealthy and harmful information to members of the public.

In all, mobile services for instant messaging in China included more than 800 million users.

Tencent has not made a comment regarding the crackdown. Its app WeChat has 355 million monthly users that are active; most of them live in China.

The company already had been tightening user restrictions on its public accounts for WeChat. Those accounts can be subscribed to by anyone.

In March, certain public accounts were shut down by Tencent. Those accounts were involved with political writings, claiming company policy has been violated.

However, users complained that those accounts did not do anything wrong and the company latter restored some of the accounts.

The scrutiny by the government of China is not expected to come to any decision over WeChat at anytime soon.

During November, the Chinese government named the WeChat product as one of the social networking apps capable of destabilizing the country if not controlled properly.