Zoom temporarily closed the account of a group of US-based Chinese activists after they held a Zoom event to commemorate the 31st anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre.
The founder of the US non-profit Humanitarian China and former student leader of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, Zhou Fengsuo, organized the May 31 event which was held through a paid Zoom account associated with Humanitarian China.
Around 250 people attended the event including mothers of students who were killed during the massacre and organizers of Hong Kong’s Tiananmen candlelight vigil.
The account displayed a message saying it was shut down on June 7 but Zoom has now reactivated the account and cited efforts to “comply with local law” as the reason for the initial account closure.
After realizing the account had been closed, Zhou and other organizers told Axios:
“We are outraged by this act from Zoom, a U.S company. As the most commercially popular meeting software worldwide, Zoom is essential as an unbanned outreach to Chinese audiences remembering and commemorating the Tiananmen Massacre during the coronavirus pandemic.”
After reactivating the account, a Zoom spokesperson provided the following statement:
“Just like any global company, we must comply with applicable laws in the jurisdictions where we operate. When a meeting is held across different countries, the participants within those countries are required to comply with their respective local laws. We aim to limit the actions we take to those necessary to comply with local law and continuously review and improve our process on these matters. We have reactivated the US-based account.”
The Zoom account of pro-democracy activist Lee Cheuk Yan was also closed in late May and he has yet to receive a response from Zoom.
Discussing the Tiananmen Square massacre is banned in China and Zoom has previously faced scrutiny for its close ties to China.
In April, researchers were shocked after they discovered that some of Zoom’s encryption keys were being generated by servers in China.
Others have also raised concerns about the company’s direct ties to China and in April the company admitted that some calls made in the US were routed through China.