China’s censorship crackdown has partially blocked the popular instant messaging app Whatsapp, as reported by the New York Times. Many users were reported as having trouble sending photos, videos, audio and texts.
Not The First Time
This partial ban may also result in a complete ban for the Facebook-owned app forcing it to join the ever-growing list of banned websites in the communist country. With the help of this ban Chinese authorities are trying to push its citizens for using WeChat over Whatsapp, as the former is unencrypted and highly censored by the government.
These past few months China has been on a spree of blocking content on the internet. This included a ban on three major audio and video streaming websites as they were “not in line with national audiovisual regulations and propagating negative speech,” according to the Financial Times.
Gaming Consoles Too
China has already banned popular websites like Facebook, YouTube and Google in the country. It had also banned gaming consoles for nearly 14 years after the country felt that the violent content of games could have negative effects on young children.
However, a few years back the ban was lifted provided the console games do not harm China’s national unity, territorial integrity or reputation or promote racial hatred, obscenity, gambling, violence or drugs. The Chinese had also banned the augmented reality game Pokemon Go citing such games as a threat to traffic and consumer safety.