A US-based Chinese activist had organised an online event to commemorate the 31st anniversary of Tiananmen Squ…Read More
Popular video conferencing platform Zoom disabled the account of US-based Chinese activist. According to multiple online reports, Zoom shut down the account of Zhuo Fengsuo, a former student leader of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests. The reason: Zhou held an online meeting to commemorate the 31st anniversary of Tiananmen Square protest on June 4. Zoom later said that the account had been reactivated and the meeting had participants from both US and China.
According to a report by Axios, about 250 people attended the online event on May 31. On June 7, when Zhou tried to login to his Zoom account, he got a message that his account has been shut down. The report further states that he contacted Zoom over email over the issue but hasn’t received any response.
The organisers of the online event told Axios that they were “outraged” by what Zoom had done. “As the most commercially popular meeting software worldwide, Zoom is essential as an unbanned outreach to Chinese audiences remembering and commemorating Tiananmen Massacre during the coronavirus pandemic,” the organisers said in a statement.
On its part Zoom told Axios that “Just like any global company, we must comply with applicable laws in the jurisdictions where we operate. When a meeting is held across different countries, the participants within those countries are required to comply with their respective local laws. We aim to limit the actions we take to those necessary to comply with local law and continuously review and improve our process on these matters,” before adding that, “We have reactivated the US-based account.”
Interestingly, back in 2019, LinkedIn too had suspended Zhou’s account. However, after social media outrage, LinkedIn had reactivated the activist’s account.
Zoom, meanwhile, has gone from strength to strength in the last three months and has become a household name. Zoom has approximately over 300 million users all over the globe. However, questions about user security and privacy still loom large and the company has been introducing features to improve it. Even though the company is a US-based company, its “links” to China have been raised by many investors and security analysts.