Taiwan MOE bars schools from using Zoom over security concerns

Alternatives such as Google Hangouts Meet recommended for school use

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The photo shows a man attending a Zoom meeting through his electronic tablet. 

The photo shows a man attending a Zoom meeting through his electronic tablet.  (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan's Ministry of Education (MOE) announced on Tuesday (April 7) that all schools would be prohibited from using Zoom, a video-conferencing platform that rose to popularity as a result of the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, citing security breach concerns.

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to worsen in Taiwan, some schools are opting for free video conferencing services to reduce the spread of virus infections. Many flocked to Zoom.

However, its Chinese-born American founder, Eric Yuan (袁征), admitted in early April that the platform was "mistakenly routing calls via China" since February, which prompted many companies and government institutions worldwide to withdraw from the platform, including New York City's Department of Education.

In response to the global concerns, Taiwan's MOE quickly followed suit, ordering schools at all levels not to use Zoom and opt for platforms such as CyberLink U Meeting, Microsoft Teams, or Google Hangouts Meet instead, for remote meeting and learning. The ministry said it would soon roll out manuals and demo videos to help school administrators and teachers adapt to alternative video-conferencing tools.

Meanwhile, the MOE's social distance learning kit designed for Zoom has been removed from cloud.edu.tw.