back to article Australian Prime Minister's WeChat Shanghaied by Chinese patriots

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison's WeChat account has been taken over by entities that have rebranded it "Australian Chinese new life" and used the account to offer advice on living in Australia for the nation's Chinese community. Morrison, leader of the right-of-centre Liberal Party of Australia, has used Tencent- …

  1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

    Good luck with that response

    I understand the federal government has been trying to regain access to the PM's account since the middle of last year and Wechat has been less than helpful.

    1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

      Re: Good luck with that response

      My dates were a bit out but this gets funnier the more we learn about it: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-01-24/scott-morrison-wechat-account-chinese-businessman/100778812

  2. Winkypop Silver badge

    “WeChat has yet to respond”

    The wifi in the re-education camp is pretty poor.

    China is as China wants.

  3. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "Other members of the government have concluded"

    Without any facts to base the conclusion on.

    Don't you just love it when someone hears that something has happened and immediately concludes that some third party is responsible ?

    Must be a sign of certain intelligence </sarc>.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: .... and immediately concludes that ...

      Indeed. You wouldn't get anything like that sort of knee-jerk, cynical, and thoughtless jumping to standardized conclusions around here.

    2. _LC_ Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: "Other members of the government have concluded"

      That was a Western secret service wanting to insinuate that the Chinese are at fault for Australian fascism.

  4. clyal

    How would you know the account was hacked?

    Certainly, not by the contents of any post/message.

  5. druck Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Please send picture

    That verbiage suggests the PM might yet regain control of his account.

    Probably about the same time as I get a refund for non working crap bought from AliExpress.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Please send picture

      Interestingly, I've had quite good success with that. Not buying much now as I don't trust the supply chain yet, but so far, so good.

  6. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "the account in question was originally registered by a PRC individual and was subsequently transferred to its current operator, a technology services company"

    IOW it was never his account but that of some media company working for him.

  7. Muppet Boss
    Trollface

    You reap what you sow

    PM Morrison did all these evil things to China's national interests? He's certainly a risk to civil order and public health and ought to be de-platformed and banned for 3 years!

  8. Jason Hindle

    Confused

    Like WhatsApp, a WeChat account is tied to your mobile phone number (and for avoidance of doubt, mine certainly is)?

    1. Diuretic

      Re: Confused

      It seems that he used a Chinese national to register the account and that individual then sold (or was coerced into selling) the account.

      https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-01-24/scott-morrison-wechat-account-chinese-businessman/100778812

      1. Jason Hindle

        Re: Confused

        Perhaps setup with a Chinese phone number then. My account is setup with a UK phone number and, by default, there is a sort of a wall. To speak to someone in China, you have to get them to connect to you (e.g. send your QR code by other means).

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    conflicting information

    > the account in question was originally registered by a PRC individual

    > That verbiage suggests the PM might yet regain control of his account.

    Is one to conclude that Mr Morrison is a Chinese citizen? Or perhaps was his PR team using a borrowed account? And how does that square with calls for online accountability?

    1. crayon

      Re: conflicting information

      Not conflicting. The verbiage suggests that the original registrant, Mr Ji, might regain ownership of the account and hence possibly resume posting on Morrison's orders.

      So Morrison and flunkies are attacking the Chinese government for "political interference" over an account to which Morrison is not entitled.

      ---

      "it would still be best for both Labor and the Coalition to simply boycott WeChat because of the risk of censorship on the platform"

      ---

      Are they going to de-platform themselves from the likes of Facebook, Twitter etc, because those are known to practice censorship and de-platform those whose views are not acceptable to the ruling classes.

      ---

      "Selling the account is against the Terms of Service of WeChat. It should have been a simple account ownership question for Tencent to resolve, particularly for a high-profile account like the Prime Minister of Australia," Mr Potter said.

      ---

      It is also against the ToS for a foreign national to register and by implication own and operate an account. So whether the account is sold or not is of no concern to Morrison or Potter.

      ---

      He also pointed out that Tencent was quick to move when it temporarily blocked Mr Morrison's account in late 2020 amid a furious political dispute over an image of an Australian soldier posted on social media by Chinese diplomats

      ---

      Morrison demanded that those posts be removed - ie censored - I believe he called it fake news at the time. The image in question would have been protected by "freedom of speech" in the west, furthermore the image was based on actual events (war crimes committed by Australian forces). Australia decided to censor without prejudice the whistleblower who exposed those crimes by prosecuting him.

      Sheer shameless hypocrisy.

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