According to Variety, a Tencent executive was arrested following the suspicion of sharing personal WeChat data with an official. The accused is named Zhang Feng, who was probably the company’s Vice President previously.
If it turns out true then, it will be alarming for many users on the social media app WeChat. Plus, the Chinese tech giant might also go through a lot of difficulties.
In its recent statement, Tencent clarified the allegations but denied any connections with WeChat. A spokesperson from the company, in an email to Variety, said:
“We can confirm that case relates to allegations of personal corruption and has no relation to Weixin or WeChat.”
“We can confirm (that) Zhang didn’t hold a Vice President position at Tencent.”
As per the allegations, Zhang passed the data to vice public security minister Sun Lijun. Beijing is currently investigating the latter over undisclosed violations of Communist Party rules. It is a euphemism for corruption.
Further, The Wall Street Journal also reported that Zhang has been under investigation for the last few months.
Coming back to Sun Lijun, then last year, he was assigned to a front-line pandemic task force. It was in Hubei Province and Wuhan.
This latest privacy breach and sharing of data are not recent when it comes to Chinese tech companies. Since last year, many of the country’s entities like Tencent are going through a scrutiny wave. China’s authorities are now more protective of consumer data.
Looking at the ongoing situation, it’s not a good sign for anyone, especially the users who are constantly on various social media services across the globe. The issue of privacy and data security has become significant since 2020. And many authorities, fortunately, have now become active in terms of protecting user data.
After Apple’s initiative of presenting privacy options in its iOS 14 software, there were controversies in 2020. But gradually, people realized what was at stake. Several other tech giants like Facebook were against the iPhone maker’s decision. However, it failed in gaining momentum from the masses. As of now, the availability of privacy is the topmost priority.
Still, the cases of data breaches and sharing of personal information are continually increasing as well. Tencent, which is facing a challenging situation right now, already saw a similar phase last year. In 2020 its PUBG mobile game faced a ban due to risk over user data. It will now hope that nothing like this happens in the ongoing case of WeChat.
Image courtesy of BBC Click/YouTube
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