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Zoom shared U.S. user data with Beijing, abetting silencing of dissent, according to court docs

The company says it will no longer allow requests from the CCP to impact users outside China.

(Smith Collection / Getty Images)
Updated: December 22, 2020 - 3:31pm

Newly unsealed documents filed by U.S. prosecutors reveal that an executive at the massive video-call company Zoom supplied Chinese authorities with data and information on users outside of China as part of an effort by China's rulers to silence foreign-based dissidents.

The documents, reviewed by the Epoch Times, reveal that Zoom employees received a number of requests from Chinese security officials to access data on users and meetings related to political, religious, and cultural topics considered taboo by China's totalitarian regime. The company complied for the most part with the requests.

Although Zoom is based in San Jose, Calif., its software is developed in China, giving the ruling Chinese Communist Party leverage over the company.

The case being litigated by federal prosecutors revolves around Jin Xinjiang, a China-based Zoom executive who worked as the company's primary liaison with the CCP. Prosecutors claim that Jin was ordered by the Chinese government to shut down a series of Zoom meetings commemorating the anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre, which crushed a growing pro-democracy movement in China. The meetings were mainly being hosted by U.S.-based Chinese dissidents. 

Jin is also accused of taking part in a plot to fabricate evidence that would make it look as though the participants at these meetings violated Zoom's terms of service by inciting violence and supporting terrorist organizations. The evidence would then be used to convince Zoom executives in the U.S. that the meetings in question should be canceled and the accounts of the activists shut down.

In a statement released following the publication of the court documents, Zoom said it "fell short" by carrying out actions against users outside of China. The statement clarifies that the company will refrain from executing actions requested by the CCP against any users outside of China.