WeChat is pushing further in its efforts to regulate third-party services on the platform. The social media giant announced that it has removed the misleading names of 3,312 official accounts and mini-programs. At the same time, the relevant features of 3,326 WeChat official accounts and mini-programs were suspended, according to the company.

A search for popular mini game Tiantian Kupao reveals the extent of copycat names (Screenshot from WeChat)

Misrepresentation is common for Wechat official accounts and mini-programs to attract more followers and page views on the platform. By misrepresenting oneself as services provided by a more reputable operator, the official account or mini program developers may easily gain bigger visibility in WeChat’s search engine and trick users into using their services.

“WeChat will close or remove the contents of the official accounts or mini-programs with misleading names, logos, and introductions, or any other behavior that involves misguiding the users’ judgments. Any misrepresentation in a batch would consider a move going against WeChat operation rules. The platform will suspend the accounts permanently and reserve rights to offer services to such parties,” according to an official statement from the company.

Several malpractices that go against the rule were listed, from adding meaningless letters or icons in the title to pilling several popular keywords together.

Official account and mini-program have become an important part of WeChat ecosystem, which now provides services to over 1.08 billion users. According to the company’s latest report, there are over 20 million official accounts and more than 1 million mini-programs on the platform.

Due to its popularity, WeChat official accounts are subject to stricter regulation both from the company as well as the state. WeChat announced earlier this year that it will regulate user’s information dissemination behavior and those trying to conduct marketing activities by distorting China and CCP history.

Emma Lee (Li Xin) was TechNode's e-commerce and new retail reporter until June 2022, when she moved to Sixth Tone to cover technology and consumption. Get in touch with her via lixin@sixthtone.com or Twitter.

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