CHINA TOPIX

Updated 4:59 PM EDT, Fri, Oct 11, 2019

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Sina Weibo to Block Users Promoting WeChat

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(Photo : Reuters) The two services might be different, but both vie for the attention of user's time. Sina Weibo has taken a blow at WeChat, and will now ban all users heavily promoting the service.

Sina Weibo, China's micro-blogging giant, is reportedly looking to ban WeChat promoters on its site in an attempt to rid WeChat supporters from the service.

The move comes after an ongoing indirect battle between Sina Weibo and WeChat, - two of the most popular social services in China - which are both vying for control over user's time.

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The ban will come down on WeChat accounts actively promoting the service, who appear to be either bots or monetization groups, working with WeChat to continue building an audience.

Sina Weibo is interested in getting rid of popular faces on the microblogging service who actively promote WeChat. Bans will also come to users with WeChat background images, promotional images/announcements and WeChat followers services on Sina Weibo.

The new bannable offense looks to be the biggest move from Sina Weibo to hurt WeChat's growth. Tencent Holdings, the owner of WeChat, recently banned some of the functionality from Kuaidi Dache, a taxi service similar to Uber working in China.

Sina Weibo's investor Alibaba also backs Kuaidi Dache, but it appears to be a long shot. It is more likely Sina Weibo simply wants WeChat off the microblogging service, and is willing to ban users who aggressively market the messaging platform.

There is no telling how strict the bans will be. Sina Weibo has been known in the past for strong bans on illegal material. The microblogging service also worked diligently on the Hong Kong protests, removing almost all material the government would find offensive.

Sina Weibo currently has over 150 million active monthly users, while WeChat sores ahead with 400 million active users. Messaging apps have a tendency to be bigger than micro-blogging services, look at WhatsApp and Twitter in the U.S. as a perfect example.

Even though WeChat has more users, Sina Weibo is still a growing service and reports claim the team behind the service is looking to expand the functionality, potentially bringing its own chat service to the Chinese market.

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