Qiushi Theory published a commentary discussing WeChat and listing a number of unprecedented regulatory challenges that WeChat faces as compared to traditional media. First, the commentary compared WeChat with traditional media whose contents the government is able to control. WeChat was developed as a private friends channel and the role of the government was missing from the very beginning. Second, compared to traditional media, WeChat’s contents and coverage are hard to measure and monitor, while the content that traditional media publishes can be determined by which media published the contents, what the length of the contents is, and when it was published. Third, WeChat can penetrate large circles where the government will not be able to influence or evaluate the contents. According to the commentary, if there is lack of control over WeChat, then, when a crisis takes place, its social influence will be hard to control.
According to Wikipedia, WeChat is a mobile text and voice messaging communication service developed by Tencent in China. It was first released in January 2011. Wikipedia reported that, by January 2013, it had 300 million users, making it the largest social network in the world.
Source: Qiushi Theory, May 8, 2014