According to the Associated Press, the groups received warnings that they violated community rules, but no further explanation was provided before their accounts were deleted.
WeChat doesn’t appear to have the accounts, but users on Weibo (the Chinese version of Twitter) have compiled a list of several of the groups that are affected, including groups at Tsinghua University and Fudan University.
Students from LGBTQ groups in China had their accounts deleted by WeChat
The company behind WeChat, Tencent, has been contacted for comment on how the accounts were deleted and what rules these groups may have violated.
Psychiatry in China has excluded homosexuality from its list of mental disorders since 2001, but this does not mean that queer individuals aren’t marginalized.
Considering that WeChat is more or less a default app in China, deleting these accounts is a significant barrier to successful organizing for advocacy groups.
In an interview with the Associated Press, one of the group’s managers said that prior to WeChat’s interference, they had been advised to take down their posts or remove mentions of the university.
According to The New York Times, it is extremely difficult to make the textbooks used by Chinese universities reflect the realities of queer life in the country.