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Many accounts on China messaging platform WeChat shut, in apparent govt crackdown

Published on Mar 14, 2014 5:14 PM
 
Chinese Internet giant Tencent has shut several accounts on its popular instant messaging platform WeChat, users said on Friday, March 14, 2014, in what appeared to be part of a broader government crackdown on political content. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS

SHANGHAI (AFP) - Chinese Internet giant Tencent has shut several accounts on its popular instant messaging platform WeChat, users said on Friday, in what appeared to be part of a broader government crackdown on political content.

WeChat - known as weixin or micro-message in Chinese - has more than 300 million users in China and overseas, allowing them to send text, photos, videos and voice messages over mobile devices.

Accounts shut down included one for the Union of Elephants, which specialised in irreverent takes on current affairs, and Consensus Net, which featured articles on topics such as democracy.

The Chinese authorities maintain a huge surveillance network, including online, where the so-called "Great Firewall of China" blocks access to sites deemed sensitive and a vast censorship machine deletes content considered objectionable.

 
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