Tencent, one of China’s biggest app developers and operators, has been suspended by the country’s government from making updates to its portfolio.
The ban reportedly came last week and was issued by China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. A number of app stores were instructed to block Tencent from updating its existing apps or launching new products.
Tencent operates over 170 apps and games, including the world’s largest instant messaging app WeChat, as well as few dating and social products like Maohu, Quingliao, Youji and Dengyu Jiaoyou.
It’s believed that Tencent received the banned as part of China’s new ‘Personal Information Protection Law’, which was introduced at the beginning of this month.
The changed law set out new rules around data collection, use and storage. It also explains how companies must act when transferring data out of the country, which includes passing a security assessment conducted by state authorities.
A spokesperson for Tencent confirmed to the South China Morning Post that it was working with the authorities and assisting them with their investigation.
They explained: “We are continuously working to enhance user protection features within our apps and also have regular cooperation with relevant government agencies to ensure regulatory compliance. Our apps remain functional and available for download.”
Tencent appeared to ban numerous social media accounts belonging to LGBTQ students in the summer, in what was believed to be a pushback against ‘western influences’.
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