Chinese users of messaging service WhatsApp reported service disruptions on Tuesday, amid fears that that censors may be cracking down on the popular mobile app.
WhatsApp users across China noted difficulties in sending and receiving images, videos and documents, with some resorting to Virtual Priviate Network (VPN) circumvention software to access the Facebook-owned service.
Whatsapp doesn’t seem to be totally blocked but comes and goes + way slow. This is how Gmail was rendered un-usable in #China. https://t.co/EimA5KL5W4
— Stephen McDonell (@StephenMcDonell) July 18, 2017
Censorship watchdog GreatFire.org noted that the Whatsapp website became blocked last month.
“Will Facebook react to WhatsApp partial block in China? Use tech to unblock service? Work with authorities to self-censor? Or do nothing?” it asked in a tweet.
Foreign ministry spokesperson Lu Kang told reporters on Tuesday that he had no information on the issue.
Whatsapp is now blocked in china..now you need a vpn to use it 😩😩😩😤😤😤😡😡. Internet censorship is getting worse!!
— nakara_ (@nakara_aeryn) July 17, 2017
China blocked a similar service, Telegram, in 2015.