Video conferencing provider Zoom Video Communications Inc said it was limiting new user registrations in mainland China to enterprise customers only. File picture: Courtney Africa/African News Agency (ANA)
Video conferencing provider Zoom Video Communications Inc said it was limiting new user registrations in mainland China to enterprise customers only. File picture: Courtney Africa/African News Agency (ANA)

Zoom suspends new free user registrations in China

By Rebekah Mathew and Neha Malara Time of article published May 19, 2020

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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, the company said.

The move is targeted at reducing the company's exposure to China with consumers flocking to Zoom, said DA Davidson analyst Rishi Jaluria.

"The China exposure has become a bit of a concern from a media perspective, especially after reports that some data was routed through a server in China," Jaluria said.

Nikkei first reported on 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 United States and China as trade tensions intensified. 

The coronavirus-led 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.

However, Zoom 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.

Shares of the company were up 3% to $169.63 in morning trade.

The videoconferencing company has seen a large spike in usage as families, friends and organizations use its software to connect while under lockdown orders during the global coronavirus pandemic. The company said last month it has about 300 million daily meeting participants, up from 10 million in December.

The sudden crush of traffic revealed a number of privacy and security issues that caused Zoom to pause new feature development for 90 days to address the concerns. It also prompted Zoom to seek out an additional cloud computing vendor, Oracle Corp, to help handle the volume.

Reuters

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