Russian Federation blocks instant messaging app WeChat

The Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology, and Mass Media (Roskomnadzor) blacklisted wechat.com, the website of the most popular Chinese messenger.

Watchdog Roskomnadzor published the information on its website on Friday, the newspaper said, adding that Chinese tech giant Tencent was aware of the move.

Tencent's spokesman Zhang Jun in response said the company is in contact with Russian authorites regarding the issue, the report said.

Russian Federation requires Internet service providers to register with related government bodies, but Tencent had a different understanding on this issue, the company said. The law basically states each individual service needs to be registered with the appropriate state agency within six months of implementation.

The announcement, which was released May 5, cites article 15.4 of the law, which instructs sanctions for failing to release the responsibilities of coordinators of online information dissemination.

Russian authorities have banned China's most popular messaging service, WeChat.

Other social media apps, including Blackberry Messenger, Imo and Line, have also run into similar restrictions in Russian Federation.

According to data on WeChat's website, about 800 mln people worldwide are using this messenger.

  • Leroy Wright