Chinese app WeChat removes updates on the border tension by Narendra Modi

ST Staff
Saturday, 20 June 2020

The reason behind this removal was stated to be a move to protect divulging state secrets and endangering national security.

Chinese social media app WeChat, has recently removed updates by the Embassy of India (EoI) on the on-going border issues between India and China. It included Prime Minister Narendra Modi's statement regarding the stand-off, in which 20 Indian soldiers attained martyrdom. The reason behind this removal was stated to be a move to protect divulging state secrets and endangering national security. The posts from the Indian government were removed from the Chinese app after the face-off between Indian and Chinese troops, which took place in the Galwan Valley of eastern Ladakh.

The updates which were primarily published on the app, included Modi's statements on the stand-off situation at the India-China border, a statement by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson and a phone call between Indian and Chinese foreign ministers, which was held on Thursday.

On Friday, the EoI issued a clarification notice on Weibo, a Chinese social media platform similar to Twitter, after the statement by MEA spokesperson was removed from WeChat. 

Followers of EoI's official account of WeChat, noticed on Saturday, that on clicking the statements published on WeChat, the pop-up states, "…deleted by author" and "Unable to view this content because it violates regulations." The pop-up message further stated, "This content was reported and confirmed by the platform of the following: Suspected of violating relevant laws, regulations and policies." EoI took to Weibo and stated that the Indian government's statement on WeChat was not removed by them.

WeChat's spokesperson stated that the contents were removed because,"… contents prohibited by laws and regulations of the state." The list of regulations on the app include, "endangers national security, divulges state secrets, subverts state power, or undermines national unity, inciting hatred, disseminating false information, inciting illegal assembly, demonstration or gathering of people to disturb public order."

WeChat has over a billion users in China and PM Narendra Modi had created a Weibo account before visiting China in 2015.

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