WhatsApp Users are Still Facing Issues in China

Prayank

On Tuesday it was reported that WhatsApp users in China were experiencing difficulties in sending messages, photos and videos to their contacts as the Chinese government is tightening its grip over the internet and the issue continues till date.

The services of the Facebook-owned messaging app had been disrupted by the Chinese government’s internet filters, following the new cyber security law implemented last month.

Some analysts believe that Chinese censorship authorities are attempting to control content shared on the service.

Popular social networking services like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr and many more are already banned by the Great Firewall of China and WhatsApp might soon join the list.

If WhatsApp is banned, WeChat — which is already a more popular messaging alternative in the country — will have even more room for growth.

WeChat collaborates with the country’s censorship authorities to erase messages and accounts with “sensitive” political material, unlike WhatsApp, whose messages are encrypted.

Access China’s (or any other country’s) Internet from the comfort of your own home | Shutterstock

GreatFire.org, an NGO which keeps track of internet censorship in China, confirmed to Efe news on Friday that normal service had not yet been restored.

The service disruptions have been reported in the same week that Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo passed away.

Liu was also a victim of Chinese censorship, as all references to him on social media and websites were either blocked or deleted by the authorities.

Chinese censorship authorities have even blocked tributes to the writer and deleted photos of empty chairs posted by his followers as a symbol of the Chinese dissident.

The WhatsApp ban adds to the internet crackdown of the government as it looks to control what media is accessible to its citizens and what’s not. They have even been censoring their own native websites such as  Sina Weibo and recently put limitations on its streaming capabilities.

(With inputs from IANS)

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Prayank

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Prayank

Bike enthusiast, traveller, ManUtd follower, army brat, word-smith; Delhi University, Asian College of Journalism, Cardiff University alumnus; a journalist breathing tech these days.