Vice President of Tencent says Wechat will never read and store chat log

Huawei and Tencent in standoff over user data triggers discussion on the definition of user authorization and data security. On August 15, Ding Ke, vice president of Tencent, responded to the Beijing News about the above questions for the first time. He said that Tencent held an internal meeting with Huawei executives on Friday, which had never been told to the outside before. “Huawei is a highly technical company, however, Tencent’s corporate value determines that Wechat will never use technology to read and analyze chat log.” “I don’t want other people read the chat log between my wife and me. One should not impose on others what he himself does not desire—this is the ground rule. Technology is to make life easier,” Ding Ke said.

“People didn’t know the meeting before foreign media reported it. The two companies communicate well. It is not appropriate to give many details at this time, but we can share some ideas which are still in discussion.” In Ding Ke’s view, Huawei is a technology giant and national pride. Its intention is good and technically, AI can bring efficiency. But we two companies have different ideas indeed. “We can collect user data from Wechat more easily, but we never do it.”

Ding Ke said, “Except for national regulatory, Tencent will never collect and keep user data, even if the chat can be stored and forwarded by email. Only when chat log or users are under surveillance by the country, Tencent will collect the data according to laws. For users at plane, Wechat will store the message first and forward them to users after they get off planes. Once Wechat makes sure that users receive the message, it will never keep them.”

Ding Ke said, “There are many misunderstandings outside. Tencent has the ability, but in fairness, we have no reason to spend so much money to collect enormous chat log without any intention. That’s the different point between Huawei and our company—we are user-oriented. My chat log with my wife is not suitable for others to know, so I understand the feeling of my users.”

Ding Ke further clarified that Wechat would never read and store user chat.

“As user social data are valuable resources, why Tencent has no intention?”

Ding Ke responded to the Beijing News that, “Privacy is the bottom line.” Data which are significant in statistic should be desensitized through technology. We use a technology called PPEN ID, and after using it, we do not know the data sources.”

Ding Ke added, after many times of discussion, we make our code of conduct. “We think it’s reasonable to give you a welcome page when you come to the National Conventional Center. But it’s terrible to track your life and let others know. The technology is not difficult for many companies to achieve, but we must prevent the technology abuse from internal management and corporate culture.”

This article originally appeared in Sina technology and was translated by Pandaily.

Click here to read the original Chinese article.