China Introduces New Rules For Group Chats

The Cyberspace Administration of China has announced new rules regarding group chats on websites and messaging apps in the country. Under the new rules, the creators and managers of group chats are completely responsible for the contents and management of these groups. Furthermore, websites and apps that provide group chat functionalities must now verify the identities of all their users and keep logs of all group chats for a minimum of 6 months. They are also required to set up systems whereby group chat creators and managers who break the rules will have their management rights taken away. Rule-breakers will also have their details reported to the Chinese government, who will keep their details on file. The change has raised concerns amongst some commentators, who are worried about China's ever increasing stranglehold on its citizens' online rights and privacy. The new rules affect well-known platforms including WeChat, QQ, Weibo, Baidu Tieba, Alipay Chat and Momo.