Zoom halts direct sales in China, will rely on local partners
- App operator Zoom Video Communications informed Chinese users that sales will be conducted only through authorised partners from August 23
- Zoom came under scrutiny last month after it suspended, then reactivated, the account of a US-based group of Chinese pro-democracy activists
Zoom Video Communications, operator of the popular videoconferencing app facing scrutiny over whether it sends data to Beijing, will halt all sales of products in China except through locally based partners.
The company informed Chinese customers that sales will be conducted only through authorised partners from August 23.
“Our go-to-market model in mainland China has included direct sales, online subscription, and sales through partners,” the company said in a statement on its website. “We are now shifting to a partner-only model with Zoom technology embedded in partner offerings, which will provide better local support to users.”
Zoom, based in San Jose, California, came under scrutiny last month after it suspended, then reactivated, the account of a US-based group of Chinese pro-democracy activists.
US senators urged the Justice Department to investigate whether the popular video apps TikTok and Zoom share private information with the Chinese government.
Zoom’s announcement came after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned that Washington may soon ban ByteDance-owned TikTok and other Chinese apps for jeopardising national security.
Founded by Chinese-born Eric Yuan, Zoom previously came under fire for not providing end-to-end encryption of its popular videoconferencing service, which surged in popularity during the Covid-19 pandemic.
That discovery came after researchers found instances when Zoom meetings and their related encryption keys were routed through servers in China, even though no one on the call was based there.