Commentary When I mentioned the Hong Kong protests to some Chinese people who had lived in the United States for many years, they exclaimed, “Why do you support those ‘Hong Kong separatist thugs’?” When I tried to tell them what’s really happening in Hong Kong is a fight against encroaching CCP control, almost all of them came up with information from WeChat to support their ill-informed point of view. In recent months, international society was surprised to find that although the purposes of the protest in Hong Kong seem self-evident, mainland Chinese people’s strange reactions to it are caused by the information blockade and so are understandable. However, it’s unbelievable that some Chinese expatriates also support the CCP and deride Hong Kong. Looking closer, we see that these perverse groups have something in common—WeChat. To many overseas Chinese, WeChat is important in their life and is playing the role of the wolf who deceived little red riding hood by shaping their political opinions. Recently, the FBI and Twitter have become aware of the malicious infiltration of CCP consciousness and taken measures to counteract it. However, what people may be ignoring is a big, powerful weapon that the CCP controls: WeChat. According to Tencent, more than 100 million people outside China use WeChat, including almost all overseas Chinese. WeChat users include a large number of Taiwanese and others who do business with mainland Chinese and overseas Chinese. WeChat’s coverage and 雷电竞 impact are surprisingly large. Overseas Chinese are accustomed to using WeChat’s free video calling to contact their family members and business associates in China. At the same time, they release and receive various information from WeChat groups and WeChat Moments. Many of them do not know or are not used to using other social media like Facebook, Twitter, or Line due to language limitations or just habit. WeChat is the only social media app they use. Over the past few months, I have seen that almost everything about Hong Kong posted on WeChat was completely contrary to the truth. In widely circulated messages, the Hong Kong protests were portrayed as horrific acts of violence by Hong Kong separatists. I asked myself, if I didn’t have other sources of information and saw only a flood of fake news, would I also be angry with the Hong Kong protesters? So, I tried countless times to deliver some facts on WeChat, but all were blocked. Some university professors in China sent me various lies that were circulating on WeChat, hoping I would believe them. No one knew the information was fake because I couldn’t send any real information. WeChat blocks all information that conveys the truth, so people are used to receiving only undifferentiated information. On August 18, at a rally for Hong Kong in Los Angeles, a man shouted abuse at the crowd. He told them that this is the place of Genghis Khan and China. It turned out that he believed that the United States was occupied by the Mongolians, and since Mongolians are also Chinese now, the United States is also owned by the CCP like Taiwan. That’s why some people are unscrupulous even though they live in the United States. Where do they get such disinformation that they believe so firmly? WeChat. They’re all devoted users of WeChat. In fact, the beatings of marchers in New York, the violent communist crowds in Canada and Australia, and the Fujian gang that appeared in Hong Kong are mainly launched through WeChat group connections. Through WeChat, the CCP easily controls and incites a large number of people who use WeChat as their only source of information. According to information released by Tencent, the number of active people on WeChat in China is one billion. That is almost all of the Chinese people who use the Internet. In China, all users of WeChat know that they are monitored by the Internet police, and that “keyword blocking” and account blocking, which have no clear rules, exist. In 2014, Chinese news reports mentioned that the China’s Ministry of Public Security officially took over WeChat’s back-end server, making WeChat not just a social tool but part of the machinery of the communist regime. In China, Party newspapers and TV broadcasts have no credibility. After the emergence of the Internet, QQ, Weibo, and BBS became the main platforms for the young generation to release and obtain information. In order to prevent Internet “we media” from impacting the regime, the CCP took a series of control measures, set up an international firewall, expelled Google, and weakened the “we media” publishing platforms such as blogs and microblogs. WeChat was designed and launched under such an environment. It turned people’s release of public information online into a “living room-style” release, making it convenient for the CCP’s monitoring, screening, and one-sided delivery of information. The CCP has blocked all international social media and vigorously developed new WeChat functionality, making WeChat the only choice for Chinese people. Moreover, using high mobile phone communication fees, the Party forced people into using WeChat’s free communication functions. When WeChat published its commercial payment function, people couldn’t get rid of it anymore and it eventually became a daily habit. Yet, at the back-end of the WeChat server, officers from the CCP Ministry of Public Security collect all user information and monitor almost all Chinese people through the app. WeChat has actually become a tool for the Party to control the people. A former newspaper editor in China sent me a video from WeChat that said: “Denise Ho Wan-see made anti-communist and Hong Kong Independence remarks at the United Nations. After returning to Hong Kong…” The video was linked to a sexual abuse crime in South Korea a few years ago. This video became the most viewed video on WeChat, which is used for “patriotic” education. Such is the information people have been getting on WeChat for a long time. The person who forwarded me the video is not pro-communist, but he had no way of telling true from false because there are no unbiased information sources. Therefore, when people are incited by lies on WeChat, they have no counteracting input. Since there are so many people using WeChat as their only means of instant communication, their business or social contacts need to use WeChat as well. This increases the scope of the CCP monitoring and intelligence collection. When people using WeChat are all over the world, the CCP’s Ministry of Public Security in its back-end server can collect massive amounts of intelligence almost effortlessly. At the same time, the CCP sitting at Tencent headquarters uses WeChat to spread elaborate lies, to cover up the truth, to deceive and incite those who are tied to WeChat, making them ignorant, impulsive, and a destructive force that will attack democratic societies. WeChat is no longer just an internet social app; it is a weapon of war for CCP internal repression and external attacks. WeChat is what the CCP claims, is an important weapon for unrestricted international warfare. Due to people’s reliance on WeChat and its staggering collection of user data, WeChat has become as terrifying as a nuclear bomb. Should the international community be on high alert about the uses of WeChat? Should something be done before it’s too late? Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.