Australia-US WeChat ban: a "shock bullet" for overseas Chinese groups – BBC News

Release your eyes, put on headphones, and listen~!
Among the Chinese in the United States, Trump's WeChat ban has won some praise and shocked many people; they are worried about disconnecting from relatives and friends, and more worried about the future of Sino-US relations.

Messenger app WeChat is seen among US and China flags

不论是由于方便易用、网络支付、还是朋友圈所在等种种原因,对于世界各地的很多中国人来说,微信已不仅仅是一个简单的聊天工具,特别是在中国大陆的亲友们保持的最重要工具。

正因如此,美国总统近日宣布将暂停美国公司与微信“交易”的行政令,在海外微信圈犹如投下了一枚震撼弹。许多人感到震惊与不知所措,但也有人表示支持。

有美国华人在白宫网站上发表“微信不应被禁”的诉求,但亦有另一批支持封禁微信与TikTok的华人在网站上,双方都收集了数万签名。支持微信禁令的书写道,微信是用于“渗透”、“洗脑”、“威胁”美国华人的工具,微信支付也损害了美国银Interests.

亲朋的工具

Shanghai resident Rachel told the BBC: “For Chinese speakers, WeChat has become an irreplaceable tool, no matter where you are in the world.”

腾讯集团旗下的微信平台拥有数以亿计的,服务功能涵盖了社交、购物、游戏甚至情侣约会。当然,微信也有不单纯的一面,被认为也是中国监控天罗地网的重要环节之一。

武汉医生李文亮去年12月在微信上向同行发出新冠疫情警告,其后旋即被当地训诫。位于加拿大多伦多的研究组织公民实验室(Citizen Lab)亦发现,微信审查关于新冠病毒的信息。

  • 签署行政命令 禁止与字节跳动和腾讯进行交易
  • How does the Chinese government censor your thoughts?
  • Censorship of the British Embassy's Hong Kong-related WeChat account being deleted

Some experts pointed out that the reason why WeChat is so successful is partly because the same type of mobile applications such as WhatsApp and Instagram have been blocked in China.

On的行政命令中,他将微信标签为对美国国家安全的一大威胁,指责它收集“海量的”,威胁美国人的隐私。上述行政令要求微信的母公司腾讯在9月中旬前出售这一应用,否则将在美国遭到封禁。

在中国,微信被认为是科技创新的一个突出例子,许多中国人甚至将美国的禁令看作是一种攻击行为。中国外交部在回应总统的行政命令时,指责美国利用国家安全作为霸权主义行为的遮掩。

The Chinese community in the United States is generally shocked by the WeChat ban. People are not only worried about disconnecting from relatives and friends, but also about its significance to Sino-US relations.

"Unwelcome signal"

21-year-old Jennie is a junior at the University of California.She learned of the WeChat ban when she was scanning WeChat.

"At first I didn't believe it was true, I thought it was some gossip," she told the BBC. "When I found out that it was conclusive information, I felt very angry."

Jennie spends about 4 hours a day on WeChat, communicates with friends in China and the United States through WeChat, and reads articles on the official account on the platform.

She also had a public account until it was deleted two years ago.It was the sixth anniversary of the year, and Jennie posted a commemorative message on the public account.Not only was the article quickly deleted, her entire official account disappeared.

She said she was "very worried" that WeChat would hand over her information to the Chinese government, but she also strongly opposed the U.S. banning the application.

"That is the same as what China does, censoring and banning speech." She believes that besides blocking WeChat, there should be other ways to control the threat it brings.

smart phone with the icons for the social networking apps WeChat and others

"I want to come to the United States to study because it is open, but this move makes me feel a little disillusioned," Jennie said.

Such disappointment is also common among Chinese immigrants in the United States.

“我以前认为美国很包容,”住在加州的宋说,她认为,华盛顿的举措向中国移民发出“不欢迎的信号”。

30-year-old Song平常在家照顾小孩,用微信来与身在中国的父母保持,他们在听说美国的禁令后十分担忧。

不过,宋对前景表示谨慎乐观。“这个禁令定义十分模糊,我想可能很难彻底禁掉微信,”她说,“我还在观望吧。”

She said that if the United States really banned WeChat, she might use VPN over the wall. "It's ironic to have to go over the wall when I get to the United States."

封杀微信的行政命令是中美关系进一步下滑的最新信号。尽管宋并不很担心禁令本身,让她更揪心的是这对她在美国的未来意味着什么。

美国的新冠疫情危机仍在继续,总统大选近在咫尺,她认为政府面对新冠死亡病例上升与大选民调下滑,正企图转移公众的注意力。

“不然的话,为什么现在会把精力放在封杀中国的app?”

  • WeChat receives attention from security experts
  • TikTok: A journey from "selling cute" to threatening American security

WeChat is "fully integrated" into daily life

Among Chinese returnees, there are also concerns about the WeChat ban. Rachel has lived in the United States for ten years and now lives in Shanghai.She said that WeChat has "completely integrated" into people's daily lives.

In mainland China, from the community where they live to the company building where they work, many places require people to show a green code that represents health before allowing them to enter or leave.

In mainland China, from the community where they live to the company building where they work, many places require people to show a green code that represents health before allowing them to enter or leave.

“If you live in China and you don’t have WeChat and Alipay, it’s almost impossible to move forward,” she said. “If you buy a bottle of milk, you open WeChat Pay or Alipay to scan the QR code.” Many merchants no longer accept cash payments.

At the same time, WeChat has also been used as a tool for China to fight the epidemic.

  • 疫情:面对抗疫科技,中港台在隐私保护与有效性间艰难平衡

“如果我走进一个商场,保安就会叫我出示,”Rachel说,“如果是绿码的话,就是说你过去14天没去过任何高危地区,你就可以进入商场。如果是黄码或红码的话,就会被拒之门外。”

的行政命令对Rachel在中国的日常生活影响甚少,但她与在美国的朋友将会变得更加困难。她说她或许会利用VPN翻墙,使用在中国被禁的聊天工具。

"It's very sad that things have evolved like this," Rachel said. "I can understand the positions of both sides. Both societies are good and bad. I want to remain neutral, but it is getting harder and harder now.

[Chinatown] Fb shares selected Australian news daily, so you can know it anytime, anywhereThe latest @Play, @Immigration, @Life Information: https://www.fb.com/news.china.com.au/

[Welcome to the news to discuss cooperation! 】WeChat subscription account: news-china-com-au

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