Whatsapp: The Latest Entry In China’s Block List
The authorities in China are getting skeptical regarding censorship day by day and it’s evident from the latest ban on popular messaging application WhatsApp. It’s not really a surprising move because China has previously banned Facebook and Twitter too to tighten their national security. The disruptions in WhatsApp were experienced all over China as the users were unable to send messages and do video calls. The service started working again on Tuesday but with disruptions in voice messages and photo sharing.
In order to protect the individual’s privacy, WhatsApp had introduced End-to-End encryption which obviously didn’t please the communistic authorities of China who doesn’t view privacy as a fundamental right of citizens. China has a long history of putting uptight surveillance across the country to avoid conflicts and political upheaval.
The WhatsApp debacle may also be due to the next Communist Party Congress meeting expected to be held on October 18, and Chinese President Xi Jinping will be reappointed as Party’s General Secretary for his second 5-year term. The complaints were received from all over China regarding the application disruptions, despite having an alternate popular messaging App WeChat, owned by Chinese company Tencent.
Other than usual disruptions, many users complained that the blocking of WhatsApp has affected their foreign trade and it has become difficult to handle global clients without proper means of communication. The complaints were posted on Weibo, a Chinese app similar to Twitter, where lots of users showed anger over the unexpected block of WhatsApp. China is focusing on tightening the online policing and with new sets of rules, it has warned telecom companies to restrict the data in the boundaries of country and no exporting of information should take place. WhatsApp, however, has not yet given any official clarification regarding the issue.