In yet another crackdown on Chinese telecom companies, China’s ministry of industry and Information Technology (MIIT) has alleged that 43 apps, including Tencent Holdings Ltd’s WeChat, were illegally transferring user data. The Chinese ministry has also ordered the parent companies of these apps to make future rectifications.
The move comes after the new Chinese regulatory regime overseeing a range of industries, with a particular emphasis on privacy and data came into existence. In a statement published online, the regulator said the apps had illegally transferred users’ contact list and location data, while also harassing them with pop-up windows.
The list also included an e-reading app owned by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, as well as others managed by travel giant Trip.com, and video streamer iQiyi. MIIT stated that the apps will have until Aug. 25 to make rectifications, or else they will be punished in accordance with relevant laws and regulations.
The punishment comes during a year of ongoing regulatory scrutiny towards tech companies. On Tuesday, China’s State Administration for Market Regulation published a set of new draft rules aimed at improving fair competition, banning practices such as fake reviews and inflated public metrics.