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US concerned by reports of China LGBTQI Plus social media curbs

The U.S. State Department said on Wednesday it was concerned about reports that China had restricted use of social media accounts of LGBTQI Plus student groups and non-governmental organizations.

US concerned by reports of China LGBTQI Plus social media curbs

FILE PHOTO: The sign of the WeChat app is seen reflected on a mobile phone in this illustration picture taken September 19, 2020. REUTERS/Florence Lo/Illustration

WASHINGTON: The U.S. State Department said on Wednesday it was concerned about reports that China had restricted use of social media accounts of LGBTQI Plus student groups and non-governmental organizations.

Members of LGBT groups told Reuters that Chinese tech giant Tencent's WeChat social media platform had deleted dozens of LGBT accounts run by university students, saying some had broken rules on information on the internet, sparking fear of a crackdown on gay content online.

State Department spokesman Ned Price said the department was aware of the reports. He told a regular news briefing: "We're concerned that (China) has restricted the social media accounts of LGBTQI Plus student groups and NGOs that were merely expressing their views, exercising their right to freedom of expression and freedom of speech."

(Reporting by David Brunnstrom, Humeyra Pamuk and Daphne Psaledakis; Editing by Leslie Adler)

Source: Reuters/ec

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