The Facebook owned company WhatsApp is blocked in China. The Instant messaging service was already blocked in KSA and UAE. However recently it was announced that their Saudi Govt has lifted ban on WhatsApp. However Dubai had again blocked voice and video calling features. China Blocks Instant Messaging Service Whatsapp.
The Open Observatory of Network Interference (OONI), a global observation network for detecting censorship, surveillance and traffic manipulation, suggested that Chinese internet service providers started blocking access to WhatsApp on September 23.
China Blocks Instant Messaging Service Whatsapp
Media reports indicated that WhatsApp already became inaccessible for some people on September 19. From last some months there were number of disruptions in China.
China has already blocked access to number of internet companies including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Google. People can access it through virtual private networks (VPN) in China. However Chinese government has also launched a crackdown on these VPNs this year.
Timothy Heath, senior international defense research analyst at the RAND Corporation said that the Chinese government does not like strong encryption of WhatsApp.
While commenting on the blockage, Health said:
The government wants to monitor internet communications. It’s trying to steer its people to use technology so govt can access and monitor it
WeChat, a popular chat service in China also notified users of its policies that comply with government requests for information.