WeChat, China’s social, messaging, and do-everything mobile app, announced (in Chinese) on October 17 that its users are temporarily banned from updating their profiles until the end of the month.
“Due to system maintenance, users won’t be able to change their profile pictures, user names, and short bios until the end of this month,” the notice says. “Other functions won’t be affected. We apologize for any inconvenience caused.”
Other Chinese social media platforms, including Weibo and QQ, have announced the same type of service interruptions.
“System maintenance” (系统维护 xìtǒng wéihù) is a euphemism often used by Chinese internet companies when services are suspended because of government regulations or censorship. None of the companies have stated the real reason for the suspensions: security measures for the 19th Party Congress, which formally begins on October 18 and ends on October 24.
The restrictions on WeChat only apply to accounts created in mainland China — based on testing at the SupChina office in New York, accounts created outside China are not restricted from changing their profiles, while all China-registered accounts we tested had the restrictions in place.
- Gender and fashion
Li Yuchun: Meet the pop star taking gender neutral style to China / The Guardian
- Coming of age in an era of prosperity
Reuters has a series of articles and profiles of Chinese people born in the 1990s:
– Coming of age in an era of prosperity: Meet China’s ‘bubble generation’
– Generation gap: China’s one-child generation grows up
– Internet: Living with the Great Firewall of China
– A ‘goddess party secretary’ ponders her future in fast-moving China
– Cash and coffee: A young woman’s path in a changing China
Five charts about the fortunes of the Chinese family / BBC
- Gender equality
Reuters poll ranks Shanghai fifth-safest megacity for women / Shanghaiist
The endangered sound of ‘suona’ / Sixth Tone