WeChat, the Chinese messaging app that was shut down by Apple in March, has become the latest example of China’s clampdown on free speech.
According to a new report from New York magazine, WeChat has been the target of a massive $1 billion cyberattack, including the installation of more than a dozen malware variants.
New York notes that malware infections and spam attacks were also a factor in the shut down of other popular messaging apps.
According a statement from Apple, the company had no comment at the time of publication.
WeChat’s app was shuttered because it allegedly “sends unwanted data, including sensitive information about us, including our names, emails, and phone numbers, to outside parties,” according to a statement posted on WeChat.
The company has said that “it is impossible to predict what data will be sent in our messages.”
The news comes just days after a massive attack on Weibo, the popular microblogging platform.
Apple has also been facing scrutiny over its treatment of WeChat and other social media apps after reports that Apple’s iMessage service was also compromised by malware.
According the report, malware was installed on more than 100 million iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices in the first half of 2017.
In September, Apple released a list of all the apps affected by the malware, which also included Instagram, Spotify, Twitter, Snapchat, Snapchat Stories, and Viber.
The list also contained the malware variants known as “TinyBeans,” “Spyfish,” “Sparrow,” and “Spike,” as well as “Apothecary.”
WeChat is the latest in a string of Chinese social media companies to come under fire for using software that may be susceptible to cyberattacks.
Weibo has also come under scrutiny over a number of privacy and security concerns, including whether the company is able to prevent malware from being installed on its users’ devices.
The social media giant has been in the news recently for its recent announcement that it was moving its mobile messaging app from iOS to Android.