Tencent’s WeChat and Kaspersky’s suite of applications have been removed from government-issued mobile devices effective October 30, 2023. Going forward, users of these devices will be blocked from downloading the apps.

WeChat is the super app in China with over 1 billion monthly users, and is a ubiquitous part of daily life in China. You can essentially do everything through WeChat, which is convenient.

However, this convenience comes at a cost. WeChat has monopolized the market to the extent that users have little say in front of the app. Identity verification is mandatory, and the app can suspend accounts at any time. And WeChat has always had the support of the central government, receiving funding, and the government has often restricted or banned competing apps.

  • @NightOwl@lemmy.one
    247 months ago

    I’m surprised that government devices aren’t heavily locked down so users only have the bare minimum apps and lock installs. Even weirder that government officials would be allowed to use the device for personal use. That’s how I’d think work devices would be handled to try to reduce attack vectors.

    • krolden
      107 months ago

      Theres so many different government jobs that involve having a phone and not all of them have a budget for mobile device management solutions.

    • @tioute@lemmy.worldOP
      27 months ago

      Agreed. These things should have never been allowed in the first place. And there’s soo many more Russian/Chinese apps that still need to be banned.

  • Wothe
    7 months ago

    Canada banning WeChat is a great idea, for the country’s security and privacy. Speak of that, look at what Elon is doing; he keeps trying to turn Twitter into WeChat, and he won’t stop until he makes it true!

    In case you are not familiar with WeChat and the seriousness of its censorship toward users: 👇

    We have to ditch centralized platforms for our own sake! And there are plenty of choices: Mastodon, Misskey, WireMin, Damus. (PS: WireMin is a combination of a private messenger & social media; it’s my favorite for now because I get to join chat groups for anonymous discussions.)

    • deadcream
      137 months ago

      Kaspersky is closely tied to Russian government. The dude himself (founder and CEO) has a government position as one of Putin’s advisors or something. Also he believes that anonymity should be purged from the internet, and every user should be personally indentified, enforced by the government. In the name of “security”, of course.

  • @vowseh
    67 months ago

    In here whatsapp is omnipresent, used for everything & everywhere, no distinction whatsoever, if you don’t have it you’re cut off, doesn’t matter if it’s public or private

  • AutoTL;DRB
    37 months ago

    This is the best summary I could come up with:

    OTTAWA, Oct 30 (Reuters) - Canada on Monday banned Chinese messaging application WeChat and Russian antivirus program Kaspersky on government-issued mobile devices due to privacy and security risks, but said government information had not been compromised.

    “We hope that the Canadian side will discard ideological prejudices, abide by the principles of market economy and provide a fair, just and non-discriminatory business environment for Chinese enterprises,” said spokesperson Wang Wenbin at a regular press briefing on Tuesday.

    “As there has been no evidence or due process to otherwise justify these actions, they are highly unsupported and a response to the geopolitical climate rather than a comprehensive evaluation of the integrity of Kaspersky’s products and services,” the company said in a statement.

    The Treasury Board said it has no evidence that government information has been compromised, but the collection methods of the applications provide considerable access to a device’s contents, and risks of using them were “clear.”

    “The decision to remove and block the WeChat and the Kaspersky applications was made to ensure that government of Canada networks and data remain secure and protected and are in line with the approach of our international partners,” the statement said.

    Canada in February banned TikTok, the short-video app owned by Chinese company Bytedance, from government-issued devices due to similar privacy and security concerns.

    The original article contains 375 words, the summary contains 219 words. Saved 42%. I’m a bot and I’m open source!