Tencent's WeChat resumes new user registrations in mainland China

FILE PHOTO: WeChat app is seen on a smartphone in this illustration taken, July 13, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Tencent Holdings’ WeChat has resumed registrations of new users in mainland China, after suspending them last month to upgrade its security technology.

The resumption of new user registrations on China’s dominant instant messaging platform was first spotted by social media users on Thursday morning. Tencent confirmed the resumption but declined to provide further comment.

Users on China’s Twitter-like Weibo platform said that steps to register a new account on the app appeared to be the same as before the suspension.

The company said last month it was upgrading WeChat’s security technology to “align with relevant laws and regulations”.

China is revising privacy and data security policies. It will introduce a Personal Information Protection Law that calls for tech platforms to impose stricter measures to ensure secure storage of user data.

Shares in Tencent have been battered this week after a state media article criticised video games – an industry that Tencent dominates in China – as “spiritual opium”.

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