WeChat, the social app with more than 1 billion active user base, announced today (the deadline previously set by regulators), will adjust its external link-sharing policy to adhere to China Ministry of Industry and Information Technology(MIIT) guidelines. The first phase of adjustments will take effect today.
According to WeChat's statement, the company will gradually implement a set of changes to its link-sharing policy, based on its "draw the bottom line at safety" (以安全为底线) motto. It also emphasizes preventing links containing illegal behavior, malicious advertising, and marketing, violating users' data security.
WeChat will allow external links in private messaging (as opposed to group chats) beginning today and will further open up by "letting users choose". However, it is not clear what WeChat meant since a user can choose to open a malicious link, which would contradict the "draw the bottom line at safety" motto.
According to a PingWest report, China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) held an administrative guidance meeting on the problem of internet firms' link-blocking activities on September 9. Companies, including Alibaba, Tencent, ByteDance, Baidu, and Huawei, attended the meeting.
The ministry proposed standards for instant messaging services, telling them that all platforms must be unblocked by September 17 or face penalties under the law.