The Hong Kong Free Press website is now blocked in China according to sources in the mainland and censorship watchdog websites greatfirewallofchina.org and blockedinchina.net.
It is unclear when the block became effective, though it is thought to have been during late October or early November.
The “Great Firewall” refers to the Communist Party’s technological and legislative efforts to regulate the internet. Websites of international media outlets such as the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal are routinely blocked as well as search engines such as Google and social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.
Key words are also often filtered by search engines while certain online speech remains criminalised.
A direct response to growing censorship
HKFP was founded in June as a direct response to growing press freedom concerns. The team have since produced over 1,800 news and comment pieces and attracted over six million page views.
Over its formative months, HKFP led coverage in English on topics such as the HKU pro-vice chancellor debacle and the lawyer crackdown in China. This summer, it live-blogged events such as the Tianjin blasts, Beijing’s WWII parade and the one-year pro-democracy Occupy protest anniversary. HKFP is aiming to raise HK$2 million in its latest round of crowd-funding.