Iran bans another social network, blocks WeChat messaging app


Oh the irony... Iran blocks China-made WeChat app

WeChat, the popular China-made messaging app, has joined the likes of Facebook and Twitter in being blocked by authorities in Iran.

Global Voices has confirmed the block with numerous WeChat users in Iran. Looking through Twitter [1] – which some Iranians still use thanks to web proxy tools – it seems that the WeChat ban was implemented five days ago.

WeChat has over 100 million registered users outside of mainland China, in the latest figures supplied by the app’s maker, Tencent (HKG:0700). It’s not clear how many WeChat users are – or, rather, were – in Iran. WeChat has a total of 270 million monthly active users, in contrast to the 400 million on WhatsApp.

(Read: 5 ways the Chinese government will try to control the internet in the next year)

Iran – like China – has a complex system of web “filtering” that censors and blocks numerous sites, with a particular emphasis on overseas news sites, pornography, and social media. According to Alex Halderman, a computer science professor at the University of Michigan, almost half of the 500 most popular sites on the Internet are censored by Iranian authorities. China also blocks most overseas social media, such as Facebook and Twitter.

(Source: Global Voices)

(Editing by Willis Wee)

  1. Iranians are using the Farsi hashtag for WeChat, ویچت#  ↩

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