In response to Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s account on WeChat being hacked, a member of parliament from the Liberal Party has accused the Chinese government of foreign interference.
Gladys Liu, a Liberal delegate, said, “It is a matter of record that the platform has blocked the Prime Minister’s access while Anthony Albanese’s account, with posts criticizing the government, is still active.“
This type of interference in our political processes is unacceptable, particularly in an election year. All Australian politicians should take this matter seriously.”
After accusing the Chinese government of wrongdoing she would boycott the use of her official and personal accounts of WeChat until the platform would explain what had happened. Liberal Senator James Paterson has called on Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese to boycott WeChat in support of Liu’s accusations and boycott, as have several other Coalition members.
The Today Show reported on Monday morning that Stuart Robert, the minister responsible for digital transformation, was reaching out to the government of China to inquire about the account theft. There is something odd going on, and the Prime Minister’s office is reaching out to them to try and resolve it, Robert said.
Morrison’s WeChat account had reportedly been renamed and Morrison was reporting accessibility issues months ago, but he now cannot access it, according to NewsCorp Australia.
Fergus Ryan, the senior analyst with the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, said Morrison’s WeChat account was linked to a Chinese national because the company’s registration policies at the time required accounts to be linked to the Chinese ID of a national or Chinese business.
WeChat has been facing increasing regulations in China, after being put on notice last year for collecting far more user data than was necessary.