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

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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





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


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。

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  • 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.



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.


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。


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."




  • WeChat receives attention from security experts
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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



"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:

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

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