SHANGHAI • Zoom Video Communications will shift to a partner-only model in mainland China from Aug 23, suspending direct sales to all customers in the region, the company said yesterday.
Zoom customers in China received an e-mail yesterday informing them of the change, and telling them it would provide users with “better local support”.
In the e-mail, seen by Reuters, Zoom listed Bizconf Communications, Suiri Zhumu Video Conference and Systec Umeet as partners that can offer its commercial service to customers in China.
Zoom has been distancing itself from its China operations, which are under the scrutiny of rights activists and privacy advocates.
The company said in May that it would suspend new free user registrations in China and limit new user registrations to enterprise customers who sign up through authorised sales representatives.
But in June, Zoom came under fire when it was revealed that it had shut an account belonging to a group of US-based Chinese activists taking part in an online video group chat to memorialise the Tiananmen Square massacre.
In a blog post, Zoom confirmed it had temporarily shut down the accounts due to a request from China’s government.
It said that it had reinstated the terminated accounts and “will have a new process for handling similar situations”.
Months earlier, security researchers discovered that Zoom re-routed some calls through its servers in China, even if those calls were placed outside China.
The company said that the re-routing took place in “extremely limited circumstances” and that it had taken its mainland China data centres off an approved list of backups for users outside of China.