WeChat Denies Geely Chairman Li Shufu’s Claim, Says It Doesn’t Store Users’ Chat History

WeChat Denies Geely Chairman Li Shufu’s Claim, Says It Doesn’t Store Users’ Chat History

Dou Shicong

Date: Wed, 01/03/2018 - 17:56 / source:Yicai
WeChat Denies Geely Chairman Li Shufu’s Claim, Says It Doesn’t Store Users’ Chat History
WeChat Denies Geely Chairman Li Shufu’s Claim, Says It Doesn’t Store Users’ Chat History

(Yicai Global) Jan. 3 -- China’s most popular messaging app WeChat denied claims by a well-known Chinese businessman that it stores users’ chat history. WeChat doesn’t store users’ message history and analyze them, said internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd.’s messaging app. WeChat was responding to claims by Chinese businessman Li Shufu, chairman of renowned automaker Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co.

There are problems in personal privacy protection and information security in the society at present, said Lu in a speech at a New Year forum on Jan. 1. Pony Ma, Tencent’s founder and chairman of board, "must be watching all our WeChats every day," Lu said.

In response, WeChat team published an open letter yesterday, saying that the messaging app software will not store and analyze users’ chats, and Li’s argument was entirely misfounded. Tencent’s chief public relations officer also stated on the social media that WeChat will not use users’ chat for Big Data analysis, Beijing Youth Daily reported today.

Users’ chat histories are “only stored in users’ mobiles, computers and other terminals,” WeChat said. WeChat may need to retain and disclose users’ information “in response to a request by a government authority, law enforcement agency or similar body,” says WeChat’s privacy policy.

This is not the first time that WeChat has been involved in a dispute over user data. Last August, Tencent and mobile phone maker Huawei Technologies Co. argued about the ownership of users’ WeChat data since Huawei’s new flagship mobile phone has the function of recommending information to users based on their own WeChat activity. WeChat will not read and analyze any chat history, Tencent said at the time.

WeChat had 900 million daily active users as of September 2017, an increase of 17 percent compared with the same period of 2016, the messaging app revealed earlier.

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Keywords: Wechat, Geely, TENCENT, HUAWEI, Privacy, Li Shufu