Grace WeChat, the popular Chinese messaging app, has said it will cut off its operations for three months to restructure its operations amid the country’s economic downturn.
The Chinese-language service, which is valued at more than $10 billion, will shut down operations from mid-January, the company said in a statement on its website on Friday.
It said in an email to The Irish Sun that the shutdown would have a “huge impact” on its team.
The company has said the closure would be effective on Monday.
The Irish Times understands that it was not clear why the company decided to do this.
Earlier this week, WeChat reported a sharp fall in its second quarter, with revenue down 6.7 per cent to $1.19 billion.
The app, which launched in late 2014, has been criticised for the way it handles user accounts and a lack of transparency about its business.
It has come under increasing scrutiny in recent years as it seeks to take advantage of China’s growing internet penetration.
It’s no surprise that a company that has been praised by President Xi Jinping for its innovation and openness has been accused of being too close to China’s Communist Party.
Last month, Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, blocked a number of social media platforms, including Twitter, after users complained of “fake accounts”.