Last week, the research lab I pitch in at published the first in a series of posts investigating censorship and privacy concerns in three chat applications: WeChat, LINE, and KakaoTalk. These instant messaging programs, which often replace text messages on smartphones, are expanding rapidly across the world. While WeChat has garnered most of the foreign press, LINE, a Japanese subsidiary of the Korean Internet giant Naver, is no pushover: it has over 200 million registered users, generated $130 million in revenue last year, and is poised for a $10 billion market cap value when it goes public next year.
In addition to the series of 21 blog posts I did on the first chunk of the original list of uncovered “bad words” in LINE, I have translated the remainder of the 150 keywords on the original list as well as translated the majority of the 370 keywords on the recently decrypted list in the following spreadsheets:
“The Edward J. Snowden affair finally raised a chilling question for the whole world: How much privacy do citizens have to give up for the sake of public security? For us Chinese, this question is slightly different: How much privacy do we have to give up for the sake of the government’s security?”—Murong Xuecun writes about the transparent lives of the Chinese people in the New York Times.
Typhoon Haiyan, which has devastated the Philippines, has also hit southern China and eight people are reported dead so far. Meanwhile, the Chinese Red Cross will give US$100,000 in relief funds to the Philippines, a number which pales in comparison to other countries’ efforts. The relationship between China and the Philippines has been hostile in recent years as the two countries are at odds over territory in the South China Sea.