Australia political leaders use Chinese app to chase votes

Australia political leaders use Chinese app to chase votes
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison speaks at a business breakfast in Darwin, Wednesday, April 24, 2019. Morrison and his political rival, Bill Shorten, say they are not tailoring their political messages to suit Chinese censors as the politicians increasingly use Chinese social media to woo Chinese-speaking voters. (Mick Tsikas/AAP Image via AP)

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia’s prime minister and his political rival say they are not tailoring their political messages to suit Chinese censors as the politicians increasingly use Chinese social media to woo Chinese-speaking voters.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and opposition leader Bill Shorten said on Wednesday they each have accounts with China’s largest social media platform, WeChat, which they use to target Chinese-speaking voters ahead of federal elections on May 18.

Critics argue that the Australian political leaders risk being kicked off the platform if they don’t comply with Chinese censorship rules.

Australian Broadcasting Corp. reports Morrison’s account is registered in Fujian province and Shorten’s account in Shandong province. Morrison and Shorten say they have not been subjected to Chinese censorship used on social media.