China: Be aware of QQ!

The Chinese IT company Tencent, operator of the popular QQIM service, will start an international version of QQIM application soon. Fons Tuinstra from China Herald will help to moderate its business section. The English version can be downloaded from here.

Now that MSN and twitter are blocked, some see that it is a good opportunity for Tencent to launch its international version. However, in the Chinese twitter community, many are yelling out to their friends: be aware of QQ! or QQ can get you in jail!.

Be aware of QQ!

Digitalboy used QQ for organizing a netizen meeting at Chengdu, Sichuan early this month. The meeting was forced to cancel. He warned that:


From our Chengdu experience, definitely we can't use QQ to chat.

Adeyso joined the conversation and pointed out that Tencent has singed a cooperation agreement with the Chinese high court that its chatting record would be used as legal evidence.

Huyong had the opportunity to visit Tencent's Shenzhen office this week, he reported on twitter on Tencent manager's explanation of the privacy concern:


Tencent's manager said: even government departments use Tencent's IM application and QQ groups as our applications have high security standard. In the international world, companies such as Yahoo can MSN would let CIA filter all the users’ messages. Tencent wouldn't do that unless the government requested.

If you are not afraid of being in jail…

Amoiist was once detained by the police for two week back in July, he warned his twitter friends. Continue to use QQ if you are not afraid of being held in prison.


The police will harvest us through the QQ. When I was detained by the police, the police officers asked me to sign on a pile of chatting record with Mr. You. Most of the chat had nothing to do with the case and I refused to sign. The police said that even if I did not sign, they had enough evidence on the case.

Another twitter (identity protected) also reported that he was arrested by local police for organizing a meeting with political nature, and during his detention he had signed up a pile of QQ chatting record in the police station.

secretaryzhang commented on Tencent's QQ icon:


Tencent's QQ icon looks like a gentle and silly penguin. But in reality it is a hunting eagle working for the CCP and the government.


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