These operational guidelines are for any law enforcement agency or other government authority (the "Requesting Authority") making a request to WeChat Pay Hong Kong Limited ("we", "our" "us" or "WPHK") for disclosure of data about our users of WeChat Pay HK ("Request(s)").
We respond to Requests made by a Requesting Authority in accordance with these guidelines, subject always to applicable laws and regulations. In specific cases, we may, having regard to applicable laws and regulations and/or for internal reasons, depart from these guidelines in our responses. We reserve the right to modify these guidelines where necessary and without providing notice, taking into consideration applicable laws and regulations and the evolving needs of the organization.
We provide customer information in response to law enforcement requests when legally required to do so. We will scrutinize all requests to make sure they comply with the applicable laws and regulations. We will require appropriate legal and/or supporting documentation to be furnished by the Requesting Authority before we can provide the relevant customer information requested. Such documents may include a court order, subpoena, search warrant, notices, authorization document(s) and/or other valid legal processes, as the case may be.
As a matter of practice, we do not retain all customer information and/or customer content, which may be deleted, de-personalised and/or revised from time to time. Certain customer information and customer content may not be retained at all or if retained, may not be retained for prolonged periods and/or in a comprehensive manner. Some of our customer information and customer content are regularly overwritten, de-personalised and/or discarded.
***Disclaimer on Requests for data not held by WPHK: From time to time, we receive Requests for disclosure of data which do not belong to and/or are not held by WPHK but a separate entity. Please note that where data and/or information are not maintained by and/or does not fall within the possession, custody and control of WPHK, we will not be able to render assistance on such Requests. The responsibility is on the Requesting Authority to make the appropriate Request(s) to such other entities and/or affiliates as necessary.
***Note on Requests relating to WeChat or Weixin accounts: We have received and continue to receive Requests for disclosure of data in relation to Weixin or WeChat ("Weixin / WeChat") accounts from various Requesting Authorities. Please note that WeChat Pay HK is operated by WPHK, an entity independent from the entities operating Weixin / WeChat. We are therefore unable to assist with any Requests relating to Weixin / WeChat Software and/or Weixin / WeChat accounts.
We respond to the following types of Requests:
We accept Requests from Requesting Authorities to preserve specified records or data, pending the issuance of valid legal process, for a reasonable period of time and in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. Please complete this form to make a Preservation Request. If we do not receive a formal legal request for the preserved information before the end of the preservation period, the preserved information may be deleted when the preservation period expires. In addition to the information described under the section of FORM OF REQUEST below, preservation requests must be sent on the letterhead of the Requesting Authority, signed, and must include a statement with details about steps that are being taken to obtain legal process for the data sought to be preserved. In specific cases, we may need further supporting and/or legal documentation before we can respond to a Preservation Request. All our rights in this regard are fully and expressly reserved. Preservation Requests may be sent via the methods described below.
Requests from Requesting Authorities that give us a good faith belief regarding an imminent emergency involving risk of death, serious physical injury to a person or any risk of harm to a child.
Please note that we evaluate emergency requests on a case-by-case basis in compliance with applicable laws and regulations. Where appropriate or necessary, we may require the Requesting Authority to furnish relevant legal and/or supporting documentation confirming their authorization and/or legal basis for making the request, without unnecessarily jeopardizing or delaying our response(s) to the requests. Please complete this form to make an Emergency Request.
Legal Process Requests
WPHK will comply with legally binding requests made in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. This may include Requests arising from valid search warrants and Court Orders and other valid legal processes, or valid Requests made in accordance with applicable mutual legal assistance arrangements and channels. Where appropriate or necessary, we may require the Requesting Authority to furnish relevant legal and/or supporting documentation confirming their authorization and/or legal basis for making the request. Please complete this form to make a Legal Process Request.
We will only respond to written Requests that are made in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. For all Requests in which WPHK is legally compelled or required to respond to, please serve it on WPHK in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.
For all other Requests, please clearly specify the following:
Please note that we may be unable to respond to any vague or incomplete Requests.
All Emergency Requests must be made using the form certifying the truthfulness and correctness of the Request.
We respect our users’ rights and privacy. We may therefore notify the relevant user about any Requests for their data prior to disclosure, unless we are prohibited from doing so under applicable laws and regulations, by the terms of any legal process (such as a confidentiality order or reasonable suspicions of money laundering), or where we reasonably believe that such disclosure may create imminent danger or risk to us or any third party.
Any Requesting Authority who believes that notification would jeopardize a law enforcement investigation should obtain an appropriate court order or legal process that specifically prohibits notification to our users and/or cite the relevant provision preventing WPHK from notifying the user of the disclosure request. If the Requesting Authority has reasonable concern that notifying the relevant user of the disclosure request would hinder their investigation, the Requesting Authority should make this clearly known to WPHK with sufficient information and legal basis to support their belief. We will carefully consider the Requesting Authority’s request and our compliance with the same will be subject to applicable laws and regulations. All our rights in this regard are expressly reserved.
If a Requesting Authority’s data request draws attention to an ongoing or prior violation of the terms of service applicable to WeChat Pay HK users, we will take action to prevent further abuse, including actions that may notify the user that we are aware of their misconduct. If the Requesting Authority believes in good faith that such actions will jeopardize an ongoing investigation, the Requesting Authority should request that we defer such action and provide the appropriate court order or legal process prohibiting such notification. We will carefully consider such request and our compliance with the same will be subject to applicable laws and regulations. All our rights in this regard are expressly reserved.
We respond to requests of an international nature made pursuant to a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty ("MLAT") and other applicable conventions, treaties or protocols entered into between Hong Kong and other foreign countries. The MLAT and other applicable conventions, treaties or protocols will usually determine how Hong Kong and these other countries can assist one another in legal matters such as criminal investigations or enforcement proceedings. Through an MLAT or other request, a foreign government, court, or tribunal can request the Hong Kong government and/or Hong Kong Courts for assistance in procuring evidence from WPHK. If the Hong Kong government and/or Hong Kong Courts approves the MLAT or other request from the foreign government, and such documentation of approval is provided to us, we will give our best endeavors to render our support in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.
To the extent permitted by applicable laws and regulations, we may seek reimbursement of our costs in responding to a Request.
We do not provide expert testimony support, except to the extent legally required.
At our sole discretion, unless legally required to do so, we may provide certification relating to the information produced to the Requesting Authorities. This includes providing a signed statement:
a) describing the manner in which the information was produced, and the nature and contents of the information;
b) giving particulars of any device involved in the production of the information;
c) confirming that the device or system was used to store, process or retrieve the information used in the course of the WPHK business;
d) confirming that appropriate measures were in force for preventing unauthorised interference with the device or system; and
e) the device was operating normally or would otherwise not have any issues affecting the information produced.
All Requests should be sent to the following by email to <email@example.com> with the subject: Law Enforcement Agency Disclosure Request, or served on WPHK in accordance with the applicable laws and regulations.
Please note that:
Notwithstanding the above, WPHK reserves all rights, including the right to object to the disclosure request for lack of proper service or jurisdiction.