China accuses Xiaomi and Tencent of illegally collecting data


Regularly suspected by the Western world of questionable practices regarding the use of personal data. The Chinese Xiaomi and Tencent are today subject of a follow-up by the Chinese authorities themselves.

The giants Xiaomi and Tencent are accused of illegal data collection on their own land. This is what Fossbytes informs us. The site reports that the Chinese government has classified the two firms among the largest companies in the country illegally collecting users’ personal data. More specifically, the Ministry of Industry, Information and Technology (MIIT) has compiled a list of 41 applications that would violate national laws regarding the collection and resale of personal data.

Among the applications on this list. We find Xiaomi Finance, Tencent QQ (instant messaging service) and QQ Reading (platform dedicated to eBooks). But also those of other Chinese giants such as Sina Corp (owner of the social network Weibo). Some popular news aggregators in China (36Kr and Sohu News). As well as delivery services like FlashEX, are also subject of a pursuit by the Chinese authorities.

A campaign of Chinese regulators against illegal use of personal data

Xiaomi's financial service

According to Fossbytes, Chinese regulators are redoubling their efforts to fight against applications that are not very sensitive to the notion of privacy.

Services with a large user base are therefore particularly scrutinized by MIIT agents. The Chinese ministry notably launched last month a campaign aimed at blacklisting and blocking mobile applications. That do not comply with the laws in force in the field of collection and commercial use of personal data. In this regard, MIIT also clarified that an independent body would be responsible for closely studying applications with a large number of downloads.

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Since the start of this initiative, more than 8,000 applications that have themselves recognized questionable practices have already indicated to the authorities that they have taken the necessary steps to get back on track. The 41 applications mentioned above remain problematic in that they continue to collect data despite the campaign launched by MIIT. These services ask the user for permissions too often. And in certain cases of complicating the task of users wishing to unsubscribe.

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