Scott Morrison’s WeChat account has been deleted

Scott Morrison's WeChat account has been deleted

The account deletion was first confirmed on Monday by Australia’s President James Patterson Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security. In interviews with Australian media, he said Morrison’s account on the platform had been “hacked and renamed”.

“His account was hacked,” Patterson told 4BC Radio on Monday, adding that Morrison’s account on the platform is now redirecting to an account called “Australian New Chinese Life.” Patterson and Morrison are members of the Liberal Party.

WeChat is one of the most used social messaging apps in China. It had about 1.2 billion monthly active users in 2020. Analysts say the vast majority are based in China, but it also has users elsewhere and is popular with the Chinese diaspora.

Morrison had 76,000 followers on his WeChat account, through which he communicated with Chinese Australians.

According to a WeChat report on January 5, “all business and jobs” of Morrison’s account have been transferred to Australian Chinese New Life, an account linked to a technology company based in China’s Fujian province.
Tencent (TCEHY)the publicly traded company that owns WeChat, said there was no evidence that Morrison’s account had been hacked, adding that ownership of the account was in dispute.

The account in question was originally registered by a [Chinese] An individual has been informed that the technology has been transferred to the incumbent operator, and will be treated in accordance with our platform rules, “media representative for Tencent CNN Business.” Tencent is committed to maintaining the integrity of our platform and the security of all user accounts, and we will investigate this matter further. “

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During another interview with Sky News Australia, Patterson said the government started having problems publishing on Morrison’s account in mid-2021.

“The government directly appealed to WeChat to ask them to restore access,” he said, adding that “the government has not received any response.”

Patterson suggested removing Morrison It can take into account the tensions between China and Australia. He speculated during a local interview on Monday that the timing might have something to do with the prime minister’s discussions with world leaders at last year’s G7 summit “about the risks of overexposure to China and how China affects you.”

Asked about the account during a regular press conference in Beijing on Monday, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman described it as “a problem between Morrison and WeChat.”

“The allegation of China’s interference is nothing but a baseless slander and slander,” said spokesman Zhao Lijian. “We never participate and have no interest in foreign interference.”

WeChat has been criticized in the past by other Western governments for its alleged ties to the Chinese government. For example, the Trump administration attempted to ban the app in the United States in 2020, claiming that it poses a national security risk because it collects user data that can be accessed by the ruling Chinese Communist Party. That attempt was blocked by US courts and never took effect.

Tencent stressed at the time that the international version of WeChat is separate from the Chinese app, also known as Weixin, and its website states that Tencent uses data “in strict accordance with applicable laws and regulations.”

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