Chinese WhatsApp users have found the app completely inaccessible for the past several days, leading some to speculate that the writing may be on the wall for the Facebook-owned application. According to Shanghaiist, this isn’t the first time that the app has been banned from Chinese phones, but a censorship effort regarding next month’s big party congress may be the reason behind the block.
Nadim Kobeissi, an applied cryptographer at Symbolic Software in Paris, has been monitoring China’s ban on WhatsApp as a part of its overall research of censorship in China. Kobeissi told the Verge their findings:
Apple has just become instrumental to China’s “Great Firewall” by obliterating around 60 virtual private networks (VPNs) from its Chinese App Store over the weekend.
Providers of the affected VPNs expressed their disappointment at the tech giant’s move, which easily prompted discussions about its alleged choice to put business before customer interests, and consequently, human rights.
Winnie the Pooh, the tubby bear from A.A. Milne’s children’s books, has become the latest target of China’s Great Firewall.
Censors started deleting online content mentioning Winnie the Pooh over the weekend. Attempts to post the character’s name in Chinese returned the message “content is illegal,” the Financial Times reported.