Zoom, the video conferencing platform that has seen amazing growth during the global pandemic, has admitted that it has suspended the accounts of Chinese activists, thus obeying the requests of the Government of the Asian giant.
In a press release, published a few hours ago, the company confirmed closing the accounts of three activists who planned to commemorate the memory of the hundreds of people who died in Tiananmen Square in 1989.
Zoom: “there is no back door”
After much criticism and this information has appeared in various media, Zoom has confirmed that the Chinese government contacted them in May and early June., to warn them of four Zoom meetings they planned to commemorate the Tiananmen massacre.
“The Chinese government informed us that this activity is illegal in China, and demanded that Zoom terminate the meetings and accounts of the hosts.”
Still, the company defends itself by claiming that they “did not provide any user information or meeting content to the Chinese government. We do not have a back door that allows someone to enter a meeting without being visible.”
Among the suspended accounts is Zhou Fengsuo’s, one of the students who led the pro-democracy demonstrations in Beijing 31 years ago. It should be noted that Fengsuo currently lives in the United States, but that has not served to prevent his account from being blocked.
As in the case of Fengsuo, Zoom has also suspended Lee Cheuk Yan’s accounts. (a Hong Kong politician) and Wang Dan (another of the students who led the Tiananmen protests).
More crashes in China: podcasts on the Apple Store
Bloomberg reports that Apple has removed two major podcast applications (Pocket Casts and Castro) from the Apple Store in China, obeying the requests of the Government of that country.
Pocket Casts has been removed from the Chinese App store by Apple, at the request of the Cyberspace Administration of China. We believe podcasting is and should remain an open medium, free of government censorship. As such we won’t be censoring podcast content at their request.
– Pocket Casts (@pocketcasts) June 11, 2020
“We will not censor podcast content at your request.”
The official Pocket Casts Twitter account has released a statement stating that “they believe podcasting is and should remain an open medium, free from government censorship.”
Apple reportedly informed Pocket Casts that its platform “includes content that is illegal in China, as determined by the CAC (Cyberspace Administration of China). “Castro received the same notification from Apple.
They are not isolated cases. On its website, Apple reports that it has removed 194 applications from the Chinese App Store in the first half of 2019, citing legal reasons.
More Chinese government censorship: Zoom admits it has blocked activists and Apple removes podcast apps from the App Store