Canada bans Chinese app WeChat from government devices
The Canadian government has announced that WeChat will be banned on government devices.
Chinese-owned app is sometimes referred to as an “everything app” – like WhatsApp, Facebook, Amazon, and Tinder combined.
However, Western governments are concerned about its security, mainly that it could be used to spy on users.
WeChat is one of the most popular apps in the world. It is ubiquitous in China, as well as in Southeast Asia and in Chinese diaspora communities.
The ban in Canada takes effect immediately.
The president of Canada’s Treasury Board, Anita Anand, said in a statement that there is no evidence that government information has been compromised through WeChat.
By removing access to these applications from government mobile devices, we are taking a risk-based approach to cyber security.
The Canadian government is also taking action against Kaspersky, a cyber-security firm based in Russia.
A block will be placed on future downloads of the apps, and users will be prevented from installing them.
Although TikTok has received much attention for potential security risks, many security experts believe WeChat poses a greater threat. Because government employees in North America do not use it as much as TikTok, it receives less attention.
A court injunction blocked a ban on the app by former US president Donald Trump in 2020.