wechat doesn't love me any more (... or at all actually)
April 11, 2019 2:30 PM   Subscribe

I have recently created a WeChat account. It worked for 24 hours and then I received a message saying I had been blocked and needed to verify my identity. I have problems with that and I wondered if anyone had experience ? More inside ...

This is the third time this has happened over the course of the last seven days (having created three different accounts on three different mobile numbers).

Each time the account works for 24 hours and then a message appears saying (something like) "Your account has been associated with mass maillings or misuse of plugins" you then see another message asking you to verify your identity. This requires you finding a WeChat user who: is prepared to verify you; who registered more than six months ago and ; who hasn't verified other users more than three times in the past year. I don't know anyone who fits that profile.

So I'm tempted to buy yet another SIM and create yet another account but before I do that has anyone had experiences like this and found a way to make it work ?

Just as background.

I haven't done any mass mailings or used plugins. In each of the now broken accounts I had sent one message and I know nothing of plugins.

I'm not in China but I would like to communicate with a relative who is in China.

The three accounts were created on the same phone but with three (brand new) SIM cards .

I went through the process of validating myself by receiving a SMS message and typing the code into the app. This seemed to satisfy the app initially.

I have made one "Add Contact" request, joined one group (using a QR code supplied to me) and sent one message to the group. That is the limit of my usage.
posted by southof40 to Technology (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Maybe someone spoofed your number for commercial use.
posted by Oyéah at 4:20 PM on April 11, 2019 [1 favorite]

Some of my work colleagues made a WeChat group and it was astonishingly difficult to get people who didn't already have WeChat accounts set up--I don't know if people were having their accounts deactivated after a day, but there was a lot of trying to find people able to verify others. (I think it even involved finding someone who had used WeChat to buy something. Basically, we needed a pool of people who had used WeChat in China.)
posted by hoyland at 5:39 PM on April 11, 2019

I'm not in China but I would like to communicate with a relative who is in China.

As long as this is the case, you are going to keep having problems. It's hard to climb the Great (Internet) Wall of China and get in to communicate. There are so many government/business/tech resources devoted to keeping people outside China from using the system. Not just automated systems, either, but human moderators (censors, let's be honest) as well.

It's a pity because WeChat is literally the most important app in the world right now, in terms of users, features, and revenue. But people in the West know very little about it. Imagine Facebook, Instagram, Paypal, Uber, Welp, text messsaging, your bank, and everything else all rolled into one app that absolutely everyone uses. WeChat in one form or another is the future of the internet-- it is unimaginably brilliant and terrifying at the same time. (If you haven't heard of WeChat there is a good introduction on this Planet Money NPR podcast.)

I hope you find a solution, but I don't know of one right off the bat. Best bet is to look on Chinese-language internet forums based in Taiwan.
posted by seasparrow at 6:33 PM on April 11, 2019 [2 favorites]

I don't know how tech savvy the person you want to talk to is, but until you sort this out, you can consider using signal messenger. It has the benefit of not being recorded and monitored by the government of China!
posted by wooh at 4:11 AM on April 12, 2019

Just a follow up on this from me, the OP. I tried one more time but this time on a more recent phone (and so a more recent Android version). This time the whole thing was flawless, it began to work and it has since.

One thing I did notice is that during the installation I was explicitly asked to grant the app various rights and that during the previous installs (on the older phone) I had not been asked those questions (although the installation had completed successfully). This did make me wonder whether the app was not getting what it wanted in the way of rights but due to being installed on old version of Android wasn't able to complain about it. If that's so I would call it a signficant shortcoming of the app and it's only a theory.

Long story short - if you have this sort of difficulty it may be due your Android version.
posted by southof40 at 4:01 PM on April 29, 2019

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