WeChat. Fuck.

For class, I needed to have WeChat (pname:com.tencent.mm) installed on my device. The app is from Tencent, a Mainland China based company. Because of data mining, monitoring, and the PRC governement generally acting like BB, naturally, I’m weary.

After reluctantly installing the app, I turned on CyanogenMod’s Privacy Guard against the app (look at all those permissions it’s asking for!) Attempting to log in with a QQ ID resulted in failure (is this decrepated now?), and leading me to disable Privacy Guard to see if it was the culprit.

Bad move.

I leave Privacy Guard off for a second and it managed to get its hands on my address book and messages (or its hashes), uploading it to their servers and matching me with people I know. All this without my knowledge nor consent. The worse part is it even tries to access my address book even before asking permission.

What kind of fuckery is that?
Edit: Suddenly remembered that maybe it hasn’t had its hands on my address book and messages yet, but has uploaded my number (or its hash) to their servers to match against other people’s address books. Standard practice, I know, but can’t I be notified of that behavior also?

One more thing: great, another app to suck the remaining non-existent RAM from my device.
Forgot to mention: THIS APP HAS NO SUPPORT FOR HORIZONTAL LAYOUTS (or maybe it’s just because I turned on Privacy Guard on it again).
Edit: okay, my bad. Looks like there’s an option to enable it.


All this reminds me of a great song by Eurythmics.

WeChat permissions

(as of 2014-07-01)

This app has access to:
In-app purchases

Device & app history

retrieve running apps


find accounts on the device
add or remove accounts
read your own contact card


read your contacts
modify your contacts


approximate location (network-based)
precise location (GPS and network-based)


read your text messages (SMS or MMS)


test access to protected storage
modify or delete the contents of your USB storage


take pictures and videos
record audio

Wi-Fi connection information

view Wi-Fi connections

Device ID & call information

read phone status and identity


read Home settings and shortcuts
create accounts and set passwords
run at startup
send sticky broadcast
view network connections
prevent device from sleeping
install shortcuts
use accounts on the device
change your audio settings
uninstall shortcuts
toggle sync on and off
draw over other apps
pair with Bluetooth devices
full network access
modify system settings
connect and disconnect from Wi-Fi
read sync settings
control vibration
access Bluetooth settings

3 thoughts on “WeChat. Fuck.”

Carefully twist your words.

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