China’s most popular messaging app WeChat was accused of storing users chat histories by Li Shufu, prominent businessman and founder and chairman of Geely Holdings, Volvo’s parent company.

Shufu was quoted in Chinese media Monday saying that Tencent's chairman "must be watching all our WeChats every day," according to a CNET report. WeChat, a fast-growing messaging app, amassed a huge number of users, mainly from China, but is popular worldwide. In 2011, WeChat had only 14 million users which has now grown to 963 million in 2017, according to Statista estimates.

The accusation comes at a time when the privacy battle rages on. Along with the net neutrality debate, it was one of the most hotly discussed topics of 2017. It is widely known that most popular social networking sites collect the user data we provide to log in. Along with that information, websites also collect the posting locations, where one took a certain photo, what events one attended and which artists one enjoy, says an Inc report. People share all of this information without a second thought about the possible implications.

Most internet users would have noticed customized ads that seem to track what products and content one look at on the internet. In fact, the report states that the most popular social media platform on the planet, Facebook, collects everything from relationship status to location, life events, political leanings, interests, digital activities, personal connections and even the car you drive, the websites you visit and the charitable donations you choose to make with your own money, which is very sensitive information that most people like to keep a secret, said the report.

Following these allegations, Tenecent Holdings’ WeChat denied storing users’ chat histories.

“WeChat does not store any users’ chat history. That is only stored in users’ mobiles, computers and other terminals,” WeChat said in a post on the social media platform, according to a Reuters report.

“WeChat will not use any content from user chats for big data analysis. Because of WeChat’s technical model that does not store or analyse user chats, the rumour that ‘we are watching your WeChat everyday’ is pure misunderstanding,” it added.

According to China’s privacy rules, all Chinese social media platforms, including WeChat are required to censor public posts deemed “illegal” by the Communist Party.

WeChat’s privacy policy on its website said the app may need to retain and disclose users’ information “in response to a request by a government authority, law enforcement agency or similar body”, said the Reuters report.

Recent reports stated that the Chinese government’s cybersecurity division announced a new rulemaking chat group administrators and companies accountable for breaches of content rules in Sept. 2017.

The government even penalized top Chinese tech firms including Tencent, Baidu Inc and Weibo Corp for failing to properly censor online content. The penalty was issued so that the companies increase content auditing measures within apps.