Hard to close! 'Lifetime online accounts' trouble Chinese users

Hu Yijing China Plus Published: 2017-11-10 21:06:16
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While many Chinese complain that it is almost impossible to close their online accounts, experts say these "lifetime accounts" infringe customers' rights, the Workers' Daily reported.

A phone with various Chinese social media apps, including Wechat, QQ and Sina Weibo, installed. [File Photo: VCG]

A phone with various Chinese social media apps, including Wechat, QQ and Sina Weibo, installed. [File Photo: VCG]

With the internet boom in recent years, many kinds of social media, online shopping websites and mobile phone apps have become part of daily life for many Chinese.

In most cases, a simple phone number is enough for register as a user on these platforms.

However, few of these services provide an "end of service" option for their users.

Compared to the easy registration process, it seems almost impossible to close their "lifetime registration" online accounts.

Concerns have been raised about the issue, as accounts of this kind contain users' personal information including shopping records and address lists.

Some worry that once abandoned, if compromised, the accounts risk of divulging users' private information.

The number of registered users remains a key factor in seeking investment, driving online platforms to stop their users from closing accounts, said Qiu Baochang, a legal advisor at China Consumers Association (CCA).

Customers should be entitled to know their options and make their own choices, and failure to allow them to opt out of online accounts infringes users' rights according to relevant laws and regulations, said experts.

It has been reported that a well-known Chinese internet company has recently updated its policies, allowing users to say goodbye to their accounts.

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