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WeChat set to limit contact numbers

2014-05-23 10:05 Shanghai Daily Web Editor: Qin Dexing

Wechat users face a limit on their number of contacts, in a bid to tackle advertisements, spamming, and fraud on the smartphone social networking app.

But most users needn't worry about ditching friends quite yet, as the initial limit on contacts is likely to be 5,000, an official with WeChat owner Tencent told Shanghai Daily yesterday.

"We'll punish those accounts that send out large number of spam links or harass users, according to relevant regulations (of Internet content) and our community code of conduct," Tencent said in a statement.

WeChat allows both individuals and corporations to open accounts and has some 400 million active users.

Users can send free text or voice messages and post external links in its "Moments" function for relating experiences and activities.

But some accounts use Moments to post spam, advertising links or links to scams to huge numbers of contacts.

Currently, there is no limit on contact numbers, but a 5,000 cap may be set in the near future, and a final limit may be further adjusted, the Tencent official said.

Yang Guang, Internet security manager at Tencent's WeChat business unit, said at a lecture in Shanghai last week that measures are being introduced to ensure users are not harassed.

WeChat on average receives about 160,000 reports each week of posts or links that breach regulations.

Every week WeChat removes around 3,000 links that break rules.

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