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whatsapp is partially blocked by china

Posted by muschett at 2020-03-09

Shanghai - Facebook's last major consumer product still available in China was disrupted by the government on Tuesday as Beijing tightened control of the Internet on a large scale.

China's blocking system has partially blocked the instant messaging application WhatsApp, which is being used all over the world, resulting in many people being unable to send videos and photos, and some people being unable to send text-based information.

China's great firewall is the country's system for filtering and controlling the Internet, and WhatsApp's obstruction is the latest example of a long string of large-scale digital services. The government seems to have tightened control over the Internet in recent weeks, and politically sensitive news, upcoming events, and the perfect storm of the new cybersecurity law, which came into force last month, have contributed to the crackdown.

Some videos have been deleted from websites that broadcast popular foreign TV programs, and the tools used to evade censorship are facing more frequent interference. The Communist Party's mouthpiece also criticized Tencent, a Chinese Internet company, for its addictive video game.

The news environment has also increased sensitivity. Things that have happened in recent weeks include the death of Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo in custody, a Chinese billionaire living in the United States accusing China's top leaders of bribery on twitter, and Hong Kong celebrating the 20th anniversary of its return to China.

To make matters worse, it is only a few months before the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China is held. The Party Congress, which is held every five years, will decide the arrangement of senior leaders. On the eve of the conference, the government attached more importance to stability, which often led to tightening of Internet control.

Although Facebook and instagram are completely blocked, WhatsApp has basically not encountered major obstacles in China, but the app seems to have become a victim of current tensions.

According to a person familiar with the situation, the practice of blocking WhatsApp was initiated by the government, who asked not to be named because he was not authorized to discuss the matter with the media. Security experts also confirmed that part of WhatsApp's disruption began with China's Internet filtering system.

"Based on our analysis of WhatsApp's infrastructure today, it seems that firewall is selectively reviewing WhatsApp's capabilities," said Nadim kobeissi, an application cryptographer at symbolic software, a cryptography research start-up

Kobesi said it was not clear whether the review of videos and photos was a specific measure or whether it was the prelude to a complete blockade of WhatsApp in the coming days.

WhatsApp is very popular in most regions of the world, but the platform does not have a large number of users in China. Wechat is the dominant instant messaging application in China. Nevertheless, many Chinese use WhatsApp when communicating with foreign countries or Hong Kong, or when making transactions.

In the past, partial shielding has sometimes evolved into a total blockade, but sometimes the government will eventually stop this practice and allow services to be restored. However, judging from other US social network service platforms, Beijing's criminal record in this regard is not good news for WhatsApp. Facebook, instagram, twitter, Google and Gmail have all been blocked in China.