Meitu selfie-editing app denies invasion of user privacy

The popular Chinese selfie-editing app admits that it collects certain user data, but claims it only uses it to optimize app performance and enhance consumer engagement.
Written by Cyrus Lee, Contributor

Meitu has refuted criticism that its selfie-editing app collects more user data than necessary and sells it to a third party.

In an official statement released by the Chinese company on Monday, Meitu said the only purpose for collecting users' data is to "optimize app performance, its effects and features, and to better understand our consumer engagement with in-app advertisements," according to a Sina news report.

"Meitu does not sell user data in any form," the company said, adding that it hires several third-party firms to track users' data as many similar services provided by app stores are blocked in China, where Meitu is headquartered.

Meitu is responding to reports that iPhone users' location, mobile carrier information, and IP address, as well as Android users' IMEIs, are collected by the selfie-editing app and sent back to its servers in China.

As Meitu's developers wrote a piece of code into the app, advertisers are able to identify who is using the app and what they're looking at, according to these reports.

Founded in 2008, Meitu claims it currently has 456 million unique monthly active users across the globe. The company concluded its initial public offering (IPO) in Hong Kong last month and became the city's largest technology IPO in almost a decade.

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