HONG KONG — Tencent Holdings has briefly halted new sign-ups to the widely applied Chinese edition of its WeChat messaging application, in a sign of how Beijing’s tightening regulatory net is affecting the country’s tech giants.
Tencent explained on Tuesday that new registrations for the Weixin messaging app, which has more than 1 billion end users in China, would be suspended to facilitate a safety update to satisfy the hottest authorized specifications.
Tencent’s inventory, a pillar of Hong Kong’s Heng Seng Index, tumbled 9% on Tuesday to HK$446 in its major fall considering the fact that 2011. This added to a 7.7% slide on Monday.
The new suspension marks the 1st time that the super application, acknowledged abroad as WeChat, has halted having in new users due to the fact its start, also in 2011. Weixin formerly performed normal technological upgrades without getting its functions interrupted.
“In accordance to applicable laws and legislation, we are undergoing a stability tech up grade, through which registrations for own and general public accounts are suspended,” Tencent claimed in its formal account on social media platform Weibo, China’s Twitter.
It explained that the update is envisioned to be concluded by early August, when registration will resume. International sign-ups for WeChat will not be afflicted, a spokesperson at Tencent said.
The suspension came just after Chinese regulators have noticeably stepped up scrutiny on the country’s largest tech organizations and the way they obtain and use own data. Weixin is a single of the most routinely used cell programs in China, with in excess of 1.2 billion month to month energetic people as of the initial quarter of the 12 months.
In addition to its main instant messaging purpose, Weixin also delivers a extensive variety of expert services from on the web payment to funding. Lots of 3rd-bash operators this kind of as Pinduoduo, the e-commerce team, also use Weixin’s system to arrive at buyers, providing the application accessibility to large quantities of person information.
This thirty day period China’s cybersecurity regulator requested Chinese journey-hailing application Didi to quit signing up new end users, accusing it of wrongly collecting and mishandling individual knowledge from its consumers. The motion arrived just times right after Didi’s $4.4 billion first general public featuring on the New York Inventory Exchange. 20-six of Didi’s programs, including its primary ride-hailing application, have been blocked in cellular app suppliers.
Next the action versus Didi, the regulator introduced that any Chinese organizations keeping information on more than 1 million clients would require its acceptance prior to trying to get an offshore IPO.