Zoom restricting new individual access to Chinese users

( The icon of the videoconferencing app Zoom is displayed on an iphone in Oestrich-Winkel, Germany. EPA-EFE/MATTIA SEDDA

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Video conferencing provider Zoom Video Communications Inc said on Tuesday it was limiting new user registrations in mainland China to enterprise customers only.

Free users in mainland China can continue to join meetings hosted by registered customers, whereas new user registrations are available only for enterprise customers who sign up through authorized sales representatives, according to a statement from the company.

The coronavirus-fuelled lockdowns of millions of people globally have driven huge growth in use of platforms such as Zoom, as families and organizations use its software to connect.

Nikkei first reported of the development saying the restriction on Chinese individual accounts on the Zoom app was due to “regulatory requirements” in the country, and the company has come under scrutiny from both the U.S. and China as trade tensions intensified.

Although Zoom has seen a surge in demand for its services it faced a backlash from cyber security experts and users alike over a number of privacy and security issues that caused it to pause new feature development for 90 days to address the concerns.

Zoom said last week it plans to open two new R&D locations in Phoenix and Pittsburgh over the next two years, expanding its engineering workforce by about 60%.

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