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China Experiences Major Internet Outage; Cause Unclear

A major Internet outage in China has resulted in users being redirected to the website of a United States-based company that aims to circumvent Chinese web censorship.

Analysts are still unclear about what led to the issue, which lasted for several hours on Tuesday.

The government-run China Internet Network Information Center blamed the outage on a server malfunction. But the official Xinhua news agency reported the incident may have been caused by hackers.

Many of the millions of affected users were redirected to the site of Dynamic Internet Technology. The company sells anti-censorship tools to companies including the Falun Gong, a religious sect banned in China.

DIT, whose website is blocked in China, denied responsibility, suggesting the cause for the outage was on the Chinese end.

China blocks access to many overseas websites, including Facebook, Twitter, and most major foreign news outlets, viewing them as a threat to the Communist Party's grip on power.

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