China WeChat App Rallies the Nation To Counterespionage

China’s normally secretive Ministry of State Security used its new WeChat account to encourage citizens to join counterespionage efforts. The title of its first post translates as: Countering espionage requires the mobilization of all members of society.

A system that makes it ‘normal’ for the masses to participate in counterespionage must be established, the Ministry added, and it stressed the responsibility of national bodies, civic groups, and commercial enterprises in implementing counterespionage measures.

Counterespionage measures generally thwart foreign spying operations which includes flushing out traitors. WeChat is the country's most popular ‘everything app’ - designed to provide chat and social networks all in one place - with one billion users. The Ministry’s account went live on July 31, 2023.

WeChat app

China Spy Ministry's Post on WeChat Rallies the Nation To Counterespionage

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China’s normally secretive Ministry of State Security used its new WeChat account to encourage citizens to join counterespionage efforts. The title of its first post translates as: Countering espionage requires the mobilization of all members of society.

A system that makes it ‘normal’ for the masses to participate in counterespionage must be established, the Ministry added, and it stressed the responsibility of national bodies, civic groups, and commercial enterprises in implementing counterespionage measures.

Counterespionage measures generally thwart foreign spying operations which includes flushing out traitors. WeChat is the country's most popular ‘everything app’ - designed to provide chat and social networks all in one place - with one billion users. The Ministry’s account went live on July 31, 2023.

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The WeChat post came after a new China's counterespionage law that took effect banning the transfer of information related to national security and other unspecified interests which has worried foreign companies in China. The law allows authorities carrying out an anti-espionage investigation and to gain access to data, electronic equipment, and intelligence on personal property.

"The most fundamental is to safeguard the leadership and ruling position of the Communist Party of China and the socialist system with Chinese characteristics," Minister of State Security Chen Yixin wrote in an article in a Chinese legal magazine in July.

China has arrested and detained dozens of Chinese and foreign nationals on suspicion of espionage including Australian journalist Cheng Lei who has been detained since 2020.

In the past, China has used WeChat - owned by Chinese firm Tencent - to censor key words about the coronavirus outbreak, according to a report by Toronto-based Citizen Lab.

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