China agrees with Tencent to combat animal trafficking over the internet

China agrees with Tencent to combat animal trafficking over the internet

The Chinese government has signed an agreement with the technological giant Tencent to combat animal trafficking on the Internet, an activity that has "grown rapidly" in recent years, the official newspaper Global Times reported today.

According to the newspaper, the state-owned technology will introduce new functions in WeChat – the Chinese WhatsApp – and in QQ – a messaging application – to report on criminal activities on these platforms.

Likewise, users will have access to a WeChat account to account for "potential crimes" against the animals, an information that will be transferred to the Forest Police within 72 hours.

In this regard, Tencent, the Chinese Government and seven other NGOs – including the American Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) – have launched a campaign to study "digital solutions" to the trafficking of animals through networks.

"Tencent hopes that greater industrial cooperation can make the fight against this type of crime more coordinated, innovative and professional," said the company's vice president, Xie Hu.

The announcement comes a month and a half after China decreed the legalization of tiger bone and rhinoceros horn for scientific and medical purposes, a decision that was widely criticized by various NGOs and led to a temporary ban on its use in the middle of November.

The belief that the keratin of the rhinoceros horns or the ivory of the elephants has healing or aphrodisiac properties in the traditional Chinese medicine has placed the Asian and African fauna, mainly, in a situation of special vulnerability.


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