Chinese government blocks WhatsApp chat service

Rodiano Bonacci
Settembre 26, 2017

One of the most popular apps in the world, WhatsApp, the messaging platform owned by Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), is no longer available in the most populous country on earth.

In mid-July, Chinese censors began blocking video chats and the sending of photos and other files using WhatsApp, and they stopped many voice chats, as well. And on Monday the entire app apparently went down - texts couldn't even go through.

For the last few days, WhatsApp has been nearly entirely inaccessible for most in China, leading to speculation that this might finally be the end for the app here.

China started blocking the service Wednesday but fully blocked it Monday, according to researcher Nadim Kobeissi‏ of Symbolic Software, which monitors such services' availability.

WhatsApp was likely targeted because it features what's known as end-to-end encryption, where users' messages can not be read by outside parties.

If you had suddenly realized that your WhatsApp isn't working while you are in China, don't blame your phone for it, as China has officially blocked the usage of WhatsApp within their network, but you shouldn't be affected if you are using data roaming in the country.

Facebook declined to comment, following past practice when asked about WhatsApp's difficulties in China.

Keith Bradsher is a New York Times writer.

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