Tencent Bows to Regulator, Allows WeChat Users Access to Rivals’ Links

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Tencent Holdings’s standard WeChat messaging app will begin permitting customers to entry exterior hyperlinks from Friday, days after regulators informed the corporate and its rivals to finish a long-standing observe of blocking one another’s hyperlinks.

China’s know-how giants have traditionally prevented hyperlinks and companies by rivals from being shared on their platforms. On Monday, nonetheless, regulators mentioned they had been ordering companies to rectify this because the observe affected customers’ expertise and broken client rights.

The transfer is a part of a broader regulatory crackdown on the trade that has wiped billions of {dollars} off the market worth of a few of China’s largest corporations.

WeChat mentioned on Friday that it’s going to implement the modifications in phases, beginning with permitting customers to entry hyperlinks in personal, one-to-one chats as soon as they upgraded to the newest model of WeChat, though it might proceed to observe ideas akin to stopping extreme advertising.

The plan might be carried out based mostly on authorized necessities and with the approval of regulatory authorities, it added.

“At the same time, WeChat will also actively cooperate with other Internet platforms to implement this guidance and explore the technical possibilities of using WeChat services on other platforms, to achieve further interconnectivity.”

Under the outdated observe, WeChat customers weren’t in a position to click on instantly by way of hyperlinks to e-commerce marketplaces akin to Taobao and Tmall, that are operated by Alibaba Group.

Instead they might be requested to open the hyperlink in a browser like Safari, which many had discovered problematic.

Tencent has additionally restricted customers from sharing content material from ByteDance-owned quick video app Douyin on WeChat and QQ, one other Tencent messaging app. In February, Douyin filed a criticism with a Beijing courtroom saying it constituted monopolistic behaviour. Tencent has referred to as these accusations baseless.

© Thomson Reuters 2021


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