WeChat has assured that it does not store the chat history of its users after a top Chinese businessman was quoted in the media saying that the Tencent-owned messaging service was monitoring people’s accounts, Reuters reported.
“[Message history] is only stored in users’ mobiles, computers and other terminals,” WeChat said in a post on its platform.
Geely Holdings chairman Li Shufu said that Tencent chair Ma Huateng “must be watching all our WeChats every day,” the report stated.
While WeChat has said that Shufu’s comment us “pure misunderstanding”, the platform is required to censor public posts that the Communist Party regards as illegal.
The Cyberspace Administration in China announced in August that it was investigating the country’s top social media sites for failing to ban content which is violent, obscene, or deemed offensive.
In September, China implemented a new rule making chat group administrators and companies accountable for breaches of content rules.
It then handed down maximum penalties to tech firms including Tencent, Baidu, and Weibo for failing to properly censor online content, and asked them to increase content auditing measures.
Naspers owns a 33% stake in Tencent.