The Australian Defence Department has banned WeChat, a multi-purpose social media application software developed by Chinese communications giant Tencent.
According to the Financial Review, the move follows concerns around Chinese espionage activities in Australia.
One reader commented, “The danger posed by Chinese espionage cannot be overstated. China employs more people in intelligence than the rest of the world combined. Many nations use spies to protect their security, but China focuses on stealing western technology.”
WeChat is not the only sign of what could be rising anti-China sentiment.
Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei has been banned from the NBN rollout. It appears the Government may extend this to the Telco’s 5G rollout. Its phones are also being removed from sensitive government areas.
Similarly, ZTE has been banned from telecoms infrastructure rollouts and some government phone use.
The new Department for Home Affairs said the telecommunications sector security reforms (TSSR), which come into effect in September, will allow the government “to provide risk advice to mobile network operators or the relevant minister to issue a direction”.
Many other countries including the US have issued similar warnings. Ministry of Defence in India has issued a new order to the Indian armed forces instructing officers and all security personnel to remove, uninstall over 42 ‘spyware’ Chinese apps, including WeChat, Weibo, Xiaomi’s Mi Store, Mi Community, etc
GadgetGuy’s take – China is our number one IT supplier
We don’t make political statements – we report news -and we are not qualified to comment on telecommunications issues anyway.