TechInAsia: WeChat censorship report: 1.5% of posts get censored. WeChat is China’s hottest social media app. But like internet services in China, discussion on WeChat isn’t entirely free – it is censored by Tencent in accordance with Chinese law. Just how censored is WeChat, and what exactly is being hidden from view? Those questions are the subject of an exhaustive new report from the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab on WeChat censorship.
The report, published today, tracked 36,000 unique WeChat “official” accounts posts between June 2014 and March 2015. Those are the accounts run by media outlets, brands, celebrities, and small companies, and are a bit like the Twitter/Weibo aspect of the WeChat app. The team found that during the period, 1.48% of the official user accounts it followed were suspended, and 1.55% of the posts made by active accounts were censored by the system. Read the full article
TechCrunch: Line, the mobile messaging company from Japan, is borrowing a strategy from Facebook after it launched a lightweight version of its service for Android devices in emerging markets. The service counts 205 million monthly active users, but over half of those are located in just three countries: Japan, Thailand and Taiwan. Read the full article
TechCrunch: Viber, the messaging app with 600 million+ users acquired last year by Japan’s Rakuten for $900 million, is today making its first acquisition, specifically aimed at building out its new games business. It is paying $9 million for Nextpeer, a social gaming startup based in Israel that offers games developers an SDK to incorporate social gaming features into their apps. Rakuten says the SDK and related services are staying online and will be expanded and integrated to work with Viber’s platform. All 12 employees of Nextpeer will join Viber, effective immediately. Read the full article