To some extent, WeChat users were already aware of the possibility that the Chinese government was able to read their private information and messages, but it is still striking when WeChat prompted us to reexamine the privacy policy as the Tencent-owned messaging app detailed in its English policy all the user information it collects as well as its readiness to share this data with the government.

WeChat’s latest update greeted users with a new terms of use and privacy policy, which users must agree to if they want to use the app. WeChat acknowledges that it collects a wide range of personal information such as name, phone number, email address, credit card info, ID as well as the data you made available to the platform like location, chat logs data, and other shared information.

What caught so many people’s eye is the amount of information they share with the government to comply with “applicable laws or regulations.” According to the English policy, WeChat can disclose users’ personal information:

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Emma Lee

Emma Lee is Shanghai-based tech writer, covering startups and tech happenings in China and Asia in general. We are looking for stories related to tech and China. Reach her at lixin@technode.com.