Canada has announced a ban on WeChat, a Chinese messaging and social media app, on government devices. The app is popular in China and among Chinese diaspora communities around the world, but Western governments have security concerns about it, mainly that the app could be used to spy on users.
The ban was announced by the president of Canada’s Treasury Board, Anita Anand, who said that the government is taking a risk-based approach to cyber security by removing access to the app on government mobile devices. She also said that there is no evidence that government information has been compromised through WeChat.
The ban is effective immediately and will apply to all government employees. Users of government-issued devices will have the app removed and will be blocked from downloading it in the future. Canada is also taking action on Russia-based Kaspersky, a cyber-security company, and will remove and block its apps from government devices.
Security experts believe that WeChat poses a greater threat than TikTok, another popular Chinese app that has been scrutinized by Western governments. TikTok has received much more attention for potential security risks, but WeChat is less focused on because it is not used as much as TikTok by government employees in North America.
The sources for this piece include an article in BBC.