In China Tencent 'deeply sorry' for Russia WeChat block

Posted May 07, 2017

WeChat is China's most popular mobile social media platform with 889 million active users worldwide by the end of 2016.

On Friday, Russian telecom watchdog, Roskomnadzor, placed China's WeChat messenger on a list of web sites blocked within the country.

Tencent told Reuters it was checking the status of its WeChat app in Russian Federation and was in talks with the relevant authorities.

Tencent, WeChat's Shenzhen-based parent company, is now communicating with Russian authorities over the ban.

The huge success has helped boost Tencent's market capitalisation to more than US$300 billion, making it the most valuable Chinese company by market capitalization and putting it on par with Apple and Google-parent Alphabet. According to Russia's regulation on Internet management, online service providers must have to register with related government bodies in the country, while WeChat had a different understanding over the issue.

Russian media quoted the regulator Roskomnadzor, which was not immediately available for comment on Saturday, as saying the access was restricted after WeChat refused to provide contact information for the regulator's register.

Earlier on Tuesday, Roskomnadzor also blocked Messenger, Line and Vchat but did not provide details, the report added.

Last year, Russian Federation blocked popular professional networking site LinkedIn as it allegedly failed to comply with the rules. It is produced by China's IT giant Tencent.

China has itself blocked foreign social media, including Facebook and Twitter.

The authorities took action after the company failed to discharge the various responsibilities regarding information distribution on the internet, the newspaper stated.