Vietnamese boycott Snapchat over China's U-shaped line

By Khuong Nha, Luu Quy   November 7, 2023 | 07:28 am PT
Vietnamese boycott Snapchat over China's U-shaped line
A satellite map on Snapchat shows China's illegal multi-dash line. Photo by VnExpress/Luu Quy
Vietnamese are boycotting Snapchat as authorities consider what to do after the U.S. social app used a map containing China's infamous U-shaped line, which illegally claims parts of maritime Vietnam.

At a Monday press conference, Le Quang Tu Do, head of the Authority of Broadcasting and Electronic Information at the Ministry of Information and Communications, said he was aware that a Snapchat map contained images of the multi-dash line.

However, there is no Snapchat point of contact in Vietnam, Do said.

"In the worst-case scenario, wherein which we cannot contact [Snapchat] to take down the content, the ministry will deploy technical measures instead," he added.

On Monday, Snapchat users in Vietnam began announcing they had discovered that the application’s global satellite map showed the illegal multi-dash line.

Kim Cuong, a media specialist in Ho Chi Minh City, said the illegal line made its appearance following an update patch in early November.

Snapchat uses data from OpenStreetMap, a platform that has several times in the past used the illegal multi-dash line propagated by China to delineate the supposed "national territory" the country claims. But the line claims most of the East Sea, including Vietnam's Spratly and Paracel Islands, and has been internationally condemned and rejected for violating international law.

Following the news, several social media communities have called for a boycott of Snapchat. The application has also received numerous 1-star reviews on online stores, with users calling for the illegal line to be removed.

Snapchat, a platform for texting and sharing images, opened to the public in 2011.

go to top