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

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

China’s know-how giants have traditionally prevented hyperlinks and providers by rivals from being shared on their platforms. On Monday, nonetheless, regulators stated they had been ordering corporations to rectify this because the apply 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 firms.

WeChat stated on Friday that it’s going to implement the adjustments in phases, beginning with permitting customers to entry hyperlinks in non-public, one-to-one chats as soon as they upgraded to the most recent model of WeChat, though it might proceed to observe ideas similar to stopping extreme advertising and marketing.

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

“On the similar time, WeChat will even actively cooperate with different Web platforms to implement this steering and discover the technical prospects of utilizing WeChat providers on different platforms, to attain additional interconnectivity.”

Beneath the outdated apply, WeChat customers weren’t in a position to click on straight by means of hyperlinks to e-commerce marketplaces similar to Taobao and Tmall, that are operated by Alibaba Group.

As an alternative 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 grievance with a Beijing courtroom saying it constituted monopolistic behaviour. Tencent has known as these accusations baseless.

© Thomson Reuters 2021

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