A quick scan of Weibo and WeChat’s privacy policies shows that they emphasize:
- User data will be stored in mainland China-based severs (WeChat specifies where the data is originally collected while Weibo mentions “cross-border transfer of data will be automatically done via China-based servers”);
- the apps will need to collect personal information including phone number, in the case of WeChat, “the purpose of collecting phone number is to fulfill the requirement of real name registration regulations” and that a user’s phone number will be “stored as long as the user keeps using WeChat service”.
- Not surprisingly, Weibo tells its users that it will always obtain their authorization before collecting any of their information unless “the information is related to national security and national interests, public interests, investigation of critical activities, life or financial security” etc.
Some apparent differences:
- When a user decides to terminate his/her account, Weibo promises that it will “delete all information associated with the account” while WeChat simply says it will “either delete or anonymize relevant personal information.”