#Asia Russia lifts ban on WeChat mere days after it blocked the app

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WeChat’s ban was lifted after it complied with Russia’s regulations

Russian telecom watchdog Roskomnadzor has lifted the ban on Chinese messaging giant WeChat, barely a week after it banned the app.

The ban was first initiated because WeChat did not comply with Russia’s regulations on internet management. WeChat’s developer Tencent had apparently failed to provide its contact details for Russia’s register of “organisers of information distribution on the internet.”

In its defence, Tencent cited it had a different understanding of the regulations, and promised to work closely with the authorities to resolve the issue.

While the ban does not affect Russians per se — since WeChat is still predominantly used by Chinese citizens — a prolonged censure of the app could potentially strain Russia-China business relations.

According to a Wall Street Journal report, there has been a sharp increase in Chinese tourists to Russia in recent years. It is estimated that Chinese tourists injected US$1 billion into Russia’s economy in 2015. Chinese businesses also set to pump about US$11 billion into Russian developments in the future, according to a report by the Financial Times.

Also Read: WeChat user and business ecosystem report 2017

With the restoration of access to WeChat, Tencent as well as Chinese citizens in Russia can collectively breathe a sigh of relief.

“Responding to Roskomnadzor’s requirements, WeChat International Pte Ltd has provided the information necessary for inclusion into the register of organisers of information distribution on the internet,” Roskomnadzor said.

Disaster averted.

Image Credit: WeChat

 

The post Russia lifts ban on WeChat mere days after it blocked the app appeared first on e27.

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