News / Asia

New Swath of Online Services Disrupted in China

Protesters join hands as they look at fellow protesters being dragged away by the police in Hong Kong's financial Central district after staging an overnight sit-in, July 2, 2014.
Protesters join hands as they look at fellow protesters being dragged away by the police in Hong Kong's financial Central district after staging an overnight sit-in, July 2, 2014.
Reuters

Access to online services such as messaging app Line and photo-sharing site Flickr was disrupted in China this week, a step anti-censorship groups said was carried out by the government to block information about pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.

Reuters reporters in China were unable to send messages online, owned by South Korea's Naver Corp, and KakaoTalk, owned by South Korean firm Kakao Corp. Both companies told Reuters they did not know the cause of the disruption or when the services would return to normal.

Users and Reuters reporters also could not access Yahoo Inc's Flickr photo sharing site and Microsoft Corp's OneDrive cloud storage service.

Microsoft declined to give immediate comment. Yahoo was unavailable for immediate comment.

“This is not a technical malfunction,” said a member of China-based anti-censorship site GreatFire.org, who goes by the pseudonym of Charlie Smith.

“I imagine these latest blocks are attributable to the Hong Kong demonstrations,” Smith said, adding that the services may have been blocked because they can be used for photo sharing.

On Tuesday, thousands of pro-democracy protesters marched in Hong Kong in one of the biggest challenges to China's Communist Party rule in more than a decade.

Some users of Chinese microblog Weibo Corp who commented on the march said on social media that their accounts had been blocked or removed.

Chinese authorities with oversight of the Internet were not immediately available for comment.

Line said that it already cooperates with China's government to censor banned phrases.

“In order for Line to advance into China, there was the need to adapt to the local environment,” a company spokeswoman said.

Since President Xi Jinping took power last year, the government has throttled online dissent and harshly punished those it views as critics of Communist Party rule and threats to its stability. Campaigns to 'clean the Internet' and get rid of rumor-mongering and pornographic material have affected both domestic and overseas Internet services.

China has also disrupted a number of Google Inc.  services in the country for the past month, including its search engine, Gmail e-mail client and its online advertising services.

The Google disruption began in the run-up to the 25th anniversary of government's bloody crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators around Beijing's Tiananmen Square. 

You May Like

Analyst: Joint-Arab Military Force Poses Perilous Challenge

Although international forces are desperately needed to counter the threat of the Islamic State group, analysts say conflicting alliances could escalate fighting More

Asia’s Middle Class Changes Demand for Wheat Grain Exporters

Changes in tastes and diets are boon for wheat exporters such as Australia and the United States More

S. African Comedian Taking Over Popular TV Show

Mixed-race comedian Trevor Noah, who is loved for his edgy jibes about race and language, is taking the helm from Jon Stewart at The Daily Show in US More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: William Li from: canada
July 04, 2014 10:05 AM
Chinas priority is to develop and be stable.
the communist party did amazing job. If the control of press is necessary to keep the big country stable, then go for it.
ppl lives in democratic india, Ukraine and Iraq has much worse life than Chinese.

by: Ben
July 03, 2014 2:12 PM
Hong Kong and Tibet are the heart of free China.

by: Wangchuk from: NY
July 03, 2014 11:25 AM
The PRC does not believe in freedom of speech or freedom of the media, even though it's guaranteed under the PRC Constitution. The CCP censors the media, the internet, radio and TV in mainland China. They arrest journalists and writers who espouse views critical of the CCP. They deport foreign journalists who investigate cases of corruption or abuse of authority or violations of human rights. Censorship only brings more discontent and dissent. It's self-defeating and ultimately futile.
In Response

by: Adam9 from: Dong Nai, Vietnam
July 03, 2014 3:26 PM
It is very much the same here. We have learned everything from the PRC.

The SRV (Socialist Republic of Vietnam) is a police state, it does not believe in freedom of speech or freedom of the press. There is no privately owned media outlets in Vietnam. Several dozens of Vietnamese bloggers are currently in jail in Vietnam.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadistsi
X
Greg Flakus
March 30, 2015 6:48 PM
At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video With Coalition Airstrikes, Iraq Entering 'Last Page' of IS Battle

American warplanes joined Iraq's battle against the so-called 'Islamic State' in northern Iraq late Wednesday, as Iraqi ground troops launched a massive assault on Tikrit. Analysts say the offensive could take the coalition a step further towards Mosul, the largest city held by Islamic State forces. Others say it could also deepen already-dangerous sectarian tensions in the region. VOA's Heather Murdock has more from Cairo.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video DOJ: Illinois National Guard Soldier Tried to Join ISIS

U.S. federal law enforcement agents arrested two suburban Chicago men accused of trying to join ISIS overseas, while also plotting attacks in the United States. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, one of those arrested is a soldier of the Illinois National Guard.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More