Facebook's WhatsApp Blocked in China

By M. Grace, July 19, 2017 23:07 PM

Facebook's WhatsApp blocked in China(Pixabay)

Facebook's WhatsApp could no longer be accessible in China after it has been partially blocked, following the government's censorship crackdown.

According to a report by local Chinese media outlet, several WhatsApp messaging service users reported the outages from Monday night, July 17. By Tuesday morning, July 18, multiple users took to social networks, such as Twitter and Weibo, to report the photos and audio clips were not delivered when using WhatsApp.

An alleged source said that WhatsApp is not responsible for the said blockage but the company declined to comment regarding this matter.

"The Chinese authorities want to be able to monitor all communication on the internet," said Charlie Smith, a co-founder of GreatFire.org, which tracks blockages."By blocking WhatsApp, they limit the choices that Chinese have to send private and encrypted communications and force more and more users to adopt WeChat as their messaging app."

Smith added that WhatsApp's messages are encrypted unlike on WeChat as it is highly censored and run by China's Tencent Holdings.

"This is part of the censorship master plan," he added.

The blockage of using WhatsApp is the latest incident of the country's "Great Firewall," in which the Internet is filtered and controlled.

It can be recalled on the previous weeks that the Chinese government has increased its grip by blocking politically sensitive news, important events and a new cyber-security law which was effective last month.

Websites hosting popular foreign TV shows have had their videos taken down and the tools used to censor have reportedly faced more disruptions.

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