Illegal WeChat Images Led to the Deportation of Chinese Students

Phone apps
Since 2009, Facebook has been blocked in China. (Image: via pixabay / CC0 1.0)

Recently, Australian Customs officials checked the contents of Chinese students’ mobile phones when entering the country. According to a mainland Chinese media report in July, two Chinese students entering Australia were both deported on the same day by Australian Customs after it was found that their mobile phones contained images that were illegal.

It was reported on July 5th that Australian Customs officials examined the records of a Chinese male student’s phone upon his arrival at the Melbourne airport. The Customs officers found illegal pornographic images on his WeChat app. The student was denied entry and immediately deported. On the same day, a similar incident happened at Sydney airport, where a Chinese student was also denied entry and deported.

The Customs officers found illegal pornograpic images on his Wechat app. (Image: Sinchen.Lin via flickr CC BY 2.0 )

The Customs officers found illegal pornograpic images on his Wechat app. (Image: Sinchen.Lin via flickr CC BY 2.0 )

After the incident, according to one of the student’s parents, their intermediary agent went through the Australian online visa verification system to check on the entry status of the student to Melbourne and it was found that his visa was no longer valid.

Mainland China experts reminded people that those found to be involved in criminal offences, terrorism, or those with serious contagious diseases could be refused entry and deported from a foreign country. Australia’s punishment of those involved in child pornography is very serious, and if such contents are shared or disseminated, it is a crime.

In fact, this is not the first time Chinese citizens have been deported due to illegal contents on their mobile phones. In December 2015, a Chinese man visiting Canada was denied entry into Toronto and deported on the spot after Customs officials found nude photos of a minor on his WeChat app.

Translated by Chau BC and edited by Stefania Cox.

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