BUSINESS Zoom to shift to 'partner-only' model in China, suspend direct sales

BUSINESS

Zoom to shift to 'partner-only' model in China, suspend direct sales

CGTN

17:14, August 04, 2020

Zoom Video Communications will shift to a partner-only model in mainland China from August 23, suspending direct sales to all customers in the region, the company said on Monday.

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File photo by VCG

Zoom customers in China received an email on Monday informing them of the change, and telling them it would provide users with "better local support."

In the email, Zoom listed Bizconf Communications, Suiri Zhumu Video Conference, and Systec Umeet – as partners that can offer its commercial service to customers in China.

Zoom has been distancing itself from its China operations, which had come under the scrutiny of human rights activists and privacy advocates.

The company announced in May that it would suspend new free user registrations in China and limit new user registrations to enterprise customers who sign up through authorized sales representatives.

Months earlier, security researchers discovered that Zoom re-routed some calls through its servers in China, even if those calls were placed outside China.

The company said that the re-routing took place in "extremely limited circumstances" and that it took its mainland China data centers off of an approved list of backups for users outside of China.

Zoom's move may hand domestic apps with video conferencing and productivity features, like Alibaba's DingTalk and Tencent's WeChat Work, the opportunity to attract more users.

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