Voice of America (VOA) Chinese recently reported that the Australian Department of Defense has decided to ban the use of Chinese instant messaging app WeChat across all of the Department’s mobile devices. In the Department’s announcement, WeChat was described as “unauthorized software.” However, in the same announcement, the Department allowed limited use of the U.S. social app Facebook. It is also evaluating the security profile of WhatsApp. The U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee held a hearing in which the U.S. CIA Director explained that he was very much concerned about the communications products from countries with a different social value system. Apparently, the Australian Department of Defense shares the same concern. Australian network security experts have expressed their observation that the Department not only worries about the close relationship between WeChat vendor Tencent and the Chinese government, but also believes apps like WeChat have very strong capabilities of collecting and monitoring information. Since last December, the Indian Department of Defense has also banned all Chinese communication software.
Source: VOA Chinese, March 13, 2018