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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

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Australia PM Morrison Loses Control Over Wechat Chinese Account As Election Looms

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On Monday, Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s Liberal Party lost access to his official WeChat social media account months ago, issuing claims of censorship, while the still-active account being run by a new Chinese controller now promotes Chinese life in Australia.

Amid the diplomatic tensions with China, Australia’s two major political parties have used the social media platform to communicate with Australian voters of Chinese ethnicity in tightly fought electorates since 2019. With a national election due by May, the government would have aimed to use the Morrison account to promote its policies during the Chinese New Year celebrations starting February 1. According to a person with knowledge on the matter, who declined to be named, stated that the prime minister’s office has made multiple fruitless requests to WeChat to regain access to the account, most recently on January 10. Tencent Holdings Ltd, the Chinese tech giant who owns WeChat, declined to comment.

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