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WeChat parent Tencent reaches out to PM

The prime minister’s office has confirmed WeChat’s parent company Tencent has reached out after months of snubbing.

The office had repeatedly tried to contact the company since July 2021 – including the CEO – after Scott Morrison lost control of his account.

A Tencent executive reached out to the office on January 24 after the story went public.

“The prime minister’s office is now in direct discussions with the company about the matter and looks forward to a resolution,” a spokesperson for the prime minister said.

Liberal senator James Paterson, who chairs parliament’s intelligence and security committee, said the blocking of Mr Morrison’s account was sanctioned by the Chinese government and amounted to foreign interference.

“What the Chinese government has done by shutting down an Australian account is foreign interference of Australian democracy in an election year,” he told 2GB.

The office didn’t confirm whether any referrals to intelligence agencies were made when access to the account was lost.

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