If the message includes a keyword that has been targeted for blocking, the entire message will not be sent.The researchers tested 709-Crackdown terms by attempting to send messages with the content of related articles from various international and Chinese news sites.Using this method, they identified 42 keyword combinations that get blocked by We Chat, noting that this list is likely not comprehensive.Most of these combinations contain the name of a lawyer affected by the crackdown.
Line, a cross-platform communication service and app from NHN Japan — the Japanese arm of South Korean search giant Naver — boasts 160 million users worldwide and offers a social-messaging platform with free calls and messages, games and “stickers” (similar to emoticons).
All of these combinations, except one, are censored only in group chat.
Only the combination “Taiwan Voice Support China Human Rights Lawyer” was also blocked in one-on-one messages.
What’s more, the app does not tell users that their message has been blocked.
This only affects users with accounts registered to mainland Chinese mobile phone numbers, and usually only in We Chat group chats, which allow up to 500 users to converse simultaneously.
Similarly, in Chinese neither of the phrases “China human rights” or “criticize Chinese government” alone get censored, but a message containing both does.