Jeremy Goldkorn
Jeremy Goldkorn

Both the location of servers and the nationality of an internet company could offer challenges on the privacy of your data. So, when you are using the growing popular WeChat service of the Shenzhen-based Tencent company, the Chinese government might be peeking along, tells internet watcher Jeremy Goldkorn in Motherboard.


“The Chinese government could in theory gain access to anything stored on a server in China,” said Jeremy Goldkorn, founder and director of Danwei, a research firm that tracks Chinese media and internet, in an email. “Furthermore, the Chinese government could in theory apply pressure on a company whose major operations and revenue are in China to hand over data stored outside China.”

Historically, that kind of pressure is more than just a theory. In 2006, Yahoo, an American company, came under fire for handing data to the Chinese government, which resulted in the jailing of several dissidents. A Chinese company faces even more pressure to keep its host country’s government happy.

Just last week, Bloomberg Businessweek published revelations about China’s monitoring of not only Skype’s joint venture in China with Tom Online, a Chinese wireless Internet company (called TOM-Skype), but some regular Skype users outside the country as well.

More in Motherboard.

Jeremy Goldkorn is a speaker at the China Speakers Bureau. Do you need him at your meeting or conference? Do get in touch or fill in our speakers’ request form.

Next week, on Thursday 21 March, the China Weekly Hangout will focus on food security in China. CEIBS sustainability professor Richard Brubaker and others will join us to discuss over 6,000 dead pigs in Shanghai and other issues in the domestic food chain. Read here our announcement, and register for participation at our event page. 

Who is hacking who, wondered the China Weekly Hangout in February 2013 after a US report pointed at the Shanghai-based PLA unit as the center of hacking efforts. Charlie Custer of TechinAsia and Mathew Hoover discussed the backgrounds, moderated by Fons Tuinstra, president of the China Speakers Bureau.

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