WeChat Announces New Content Ban! Now These are Not Allowed!

Source: Caixin Global, David Yin

Chinas ubiquitous social media app WeChat is updating its terms of use to crack down on entities that mislead users, scam them, or reuse their personal information, amid a nationwide push to strengthen online privacy safeguards.

WeChat users who violate the new rules could be blocked from using the platform, depending on the frequency and severity of their transgressions.

The Official Notice from WeChat

The updated prohibitions, which come into effect Oct. 28, include a ban on third parties that reuse or repurpose certain kinds of personal information, including usernames and profile pictures captured via app authorizations, promotional campaigns, or other means, according to an announcement on the companys official public account.

Pages that entice or mislead users into downloading apps or being redirected elsewhere will also be banned, the announcement said, citing companies that dangle rewards like money-filled virtual red packets, coupons, points, or mobile minutes that can only be accessed by leaving WeChat.

In addition, pages, buttons, notices, and other texts that use false advertising to draw clicks and redirect users will no longer be permitted. Neither will sales tactics that induce users to share links or compel others to complete tasks in order to obtain rewards, discounts, or hard-to-secure items such as tickets.

Other practices will not be completely verboten but are instead subject to stricter checks. For example, group purchases like those pioneered by e-commerce company Pinduoduo will still be allowed, but both the rules of participation as well as the value of end products received by participants will be subject to scrutiny, the announcement said.