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Chinese messaging app WeChat comes under security scanner; Intelligence Bureau suggests ban

wechatChinese Internet major Tencent's messaging app Weixin, globally known as WeChat which recently launched its operations in India, has come under Intelligence Bureau (IB)'s surveillance, according to media reports. IB has told National Security Advisor (NSA) that platforms like WeChat may bring in new cyber threats in the country and suggested its ban.

NSA advises the prime minister on the issues related to threats to the country; it also works closely with China on border issues.

The matter will be investigated by the Ministry of Home Affairs along with the Department of Telecom before taking a call on whether or not to block access to such services, according to The Hindu Business Line.

WeChat was launched in India in July last year in partnership with Ibibo as Tencent has only minority stake in the company. It claims to have 300 million global users, of which only 40 million are outside China.

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In an exclusive interview with Techcircle.in, Dennis Hau, head of international product centre, at Tencent International Business Group, said that the company is betting on its localised features to capture market share in countries outside China.

In a bid to grab market share in India, the Chinese Internet giant has introduced various features in the app since its launch. In September last year, it added Hindi to its language bouquet and launched the app on the BlackBerry platform owing to its popularity with the young crowd in the country. Recently, it launched yet another feature that allows companies and brands to open accounts for users to follow and interact with them. The company has also opened its APIs for external developers to build on the existing ecosystem.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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IB NSA WeChat
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