Tencent responds to user's suicide over WeChat account ban
Published: Aug 27, 2020 04:35 PM

China's technology giant Tencent reaches out to individuals and organizations worldwide with its telecommunication services. Photo: cnsphoto

Online rumors about a 21-year-old man committing suicide after he failed to reach an agreement with Tencent over the lifting of a ban on his WeChat account have been incorrectly reported, Tencent said Thursday.

The company's remarks came after someone fell from the top of a research and development building in Shenzhen, South China's Guangdong Province, located inside a public office park where Tencent's headquarters are located. The building's security guards immediately called the police when they found the man, media reports. The man died after efforts to resuscitate him at the scene.

Meanwhile, rumors spread online claiming the man ended his life by jumping from the company's offices on August 15 after he repeatedly failed to convince Tencent to repeal a ban on his WeChat account, something the company denies, adding that the online version of his "falling from the Tencent building" is untrue.

"We are deeply sorry and sad about the incident…but we want to clarify some of the misleading rumors that have been circulating on the Internet," the company said in a statement sent to the Global Times Thursday.

According to Tencent, their employees had had no contact with the person who fell from the building - a statement at odds with the dead man's brother, who alleges the man committed suicide after several failed attempts to appeal to Tencent regarding his WeChat account.

The individual's WeChat account was suspended as a result of being reported by other users on August 12, Tencent confirmed, noting that the user's conduct on the platform violated the rules.

The short-term suspension was valid for 72 hours, Tencent said, after which the suspension expired on August 15, meaning the user could unlock it by himself - information which would have been clear to him from his login page during the suspension, the statement said.

The company has submitted the relevant evidence to the public security authority and the cause of the man's fall is subject to the police investigation, Tencent said.

As a result of the incident, the brother of the 21-year-old said that Tencent has offered 150,000 yuan to the dead man's family for humanitarian reasons, but a letter of commitment must be signed, reported, an allegation which has not yet been confirmed by Tencent.

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