Tencent Says ‘Loophole’ Allowed WeChat Searches on Google, Bing

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Tencent’s WeChat has fastened a glitch that allowed a few of its content material to be searchable by exterior serps, the proprietor of China’s hottest messaging app mentioned on Friday, elevating questions over regulators’ newest try and crackdown on the web sector.

A few of WeChat’s content material, together with articles on its public accounts web page, was briefly searchable in the previous couple of days on Alphabet-owned Google and Microsoft’s Bing, however not on China’s dominant search engine Baidu, Reuters checks confirmed.

The change had prompted hypothesis that Tencent was heeding a name by Chinese language authorities for its tech giants to tear down “walled gardens” within the nation’s our on-line world which has come amid a large ranging crackdown on the sector.

“As a result of current technological upgrades, the official accounts’ robots protocol had loopholes, which brought about the exterior crawlers to scrape a part of the official accounts’ content material,” Tencent mentioned in an announcement in Chinese language.

“The loopholes have since been fastened.”

Google, Microsoft, and Baidu didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark. Google shouldn’t be out there in China.

The power to seek out WeChat content material on Google and Bing was initially raised by customers on developer boards. China’s web sector has been lengthy dominated by a handful of know-how giants who’ve traditionally blocked rivals’ hyperlinks in addition to their search crawlers, a apply is also known as ‘walled gardens’.

In current months, this apply has been focused by Chinese language authorities as a part of a sweeping regulatory crackdown.

Final month, China’s Ministry of Trade and Info Know-how (MIIT) ordered corporations to cease blocking hyperlinks, which they mentioned has affected customers’ expertise and broken client rights.

The MIIT has additionally been finding out plans and conducting analysis to make WeChat content material out there on exterior serps, based on an individual with direct information.

MIIT didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.

Some customers on China’s Twitter-like Weibo platform expressed dismay over Tencent’s feedback.

“This ought to be an essential try of making an open web area, how will you name it a bug,” mentioned one person.

© Thomson Reuters 2021


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