Australian prime minister loses control of WeChat account
By ROD McGUIRK
24 January 2022
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has lost control of his account on the Chinese-owned social media platform WeChat and a lawmaker on Monday accused China’s leaders of political interference.
Joint Parliamentary Committee on Intelligence and Security Chair James Paterson said WeChat had not immediately replied to an Australian government request that the prime minister’s account be restored.
Paterson accused the Chinese Communist Party of censoring the prime minister with Australia’s elections due by May.
Paterson, who is a member of Morrison’s conservative Liberal Party, called on all lawmakers to boycott the platform.
“What the Chinese government has done by shutting down an Australian account is foreign interference of Australian democracy in an election year,” Paterson said.
Paterson said it was concerning that 1.2 million Chinese Australians who use the platform couldn’t access news from the prime minister, but could still see criticisms of the government made by opposition leader Anthony Albanese.