VietNamNet Bridge – The Vietnamese Internet users’ community has called on people not to use Chinese WeChat, an OTT (over the top content) app, allowing to make calls and send messages free of charge. Some young singers have been heavily criticized for using the app.
WeChat has been developed by Tencent, a Chinese company headquartered in Shen Zhen. Since the day of launching, WeChat has been regarded by the US and European countries with suspicion. The Taiwanese administration has also reportedly been keeping a close watch over the operation of WeChat.
According to The Guardian, WeChat is an instrument that helps the Chinese government keep track of users and control the information all over the globe by filtering information based on keywords.
In Vietnam, competent agencies and newspapers have also warned against the use of WeChat. On December 24, 2012, Nguyen Manh Hung, Deputy General Director of Viettel, warned at a conference that if Vietnam does not keep strict control over the OTT services like WeChat, Vietnam would have to face security risks.
In fact, before official warnings were given, Vietnamese Internet users had many times called on people not to use WeChat or Chinese social networks for fear of the security risks.
However, the warnings have not reached to many people. Bao Anh and Bui Anh Tuan, the famous young singers are two of them. And of course, they have been heavily criticized by the Internet users’ community for helping popularize the Chinese software and encourage people to use the Chinese chatting instrument which is really a danger to users.
They might have not known that when using WeChat, they would accidentally recognize the Chinese sovereignty over the illegal cow’s tongue line (nine dash U-shaped line). Tencent, the developer of WeChat, requests users to agree with many terms set by WeChat in order to become a member of the website. One of the terms is that they have to agree that all the information on WeChat is true.
On the WeChat version in Vietnamese language, WeChat shows the map with no clear boundaries about Vietnamese Hoang Sa and Truong Sa. Meanwhile, on the Chinese version, called Wixin, one can see a map with the clear cow’s tongue line. As such, all the users in Vietnam would accidentally confirm the map which violates the international laws.
Once Vietnamese fall into the trap and confirm the map, this would give China one more excuse to raise the discussion about the cow’s tongue line at the international conferences on the East Sea.
Vietnam’s VNG Corporation (Vinagame) has stopped hosting the online game produced by a Chinese company after finding the game had a small map of the East Sea U-shaped line inserted within it.
On December 15, the online game Chinh Do was delivered to servers in HCM City. However, the next day, users and the technical team of VNG found a small map of the East Sea in the bottom right hand corner, showing the U-shaped line.
VNG found this map on December 16 when its technical staff was reviewing the game “Chinh Do 2.0,” a massive multiplayer online role-playing game produced by China’s Giant Interactive Company.
Chinese mass media reported that after WeChat obtained 1 million users in January 2013, the government of China realized that WeChat would be its third product to be well known in the world, together with Lenovo and Huawei.
According to Forbes, Xi Jinping paid a visit to Tencent right after he was elected as the Chinese communist Party Secretary General and President. He made a 40-minute speech there in which he emphasized that the state would give support to help develop information technology and Internet firms.
Compiled by C. V
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