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

Brutality Eroding IS Financial Support

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper says IS's penchant for publicizing beheadings, other brutal forms of punishment hurts group’s bottom line More

Studies: Climate Change a Factor in Disasters in Syria, California

The studies point to the possibility of clear and present dangers from a threat often considered to be far in the future More

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials and human rights organizations assert that Pakistani authorities are using deadly attack at school in Peshawar as pretext to push out Afghan refugees 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.
Kerry Seeks Assurances of Russian Non-Interference in Ukrainei
X
March 03, 2015 3:11 AM
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that his country could face further consequences to what he called its “already strained economy” if Moscow does not fully comply with a cease-fire in Ukraine. The two met, on Monday, on the sidelines of a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, where Kerry outlined human rights violations in Russian-annexed Crimea and eastern Ukraine. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports from Geneva.
Video

Video Kerry Seeks Assurances of Russian Non-Interference in Ukraine

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that his country could face further consequences to what he called its “already strained economy” if Moscow does not fully comply with a cease-fire in Ukraine. The two met, on Monday, on the sidelines of a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, where Kerry outlined human rights violations in Russian-annexed Crimea and eastern Ukraine. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports from Geneva.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Prepare to Defend Mariupol

Despite the ongoing ceasefire in Ukraine, soldiers in the city of Mariupol fear that pro-Russian separatists may be getting ready to attack. The separatists must take or encircle the city if they wish to gain land access to Crimea, which was annexed by Russia early last year. But Ukrainian forces, many of them volunteers, say they are determined to defend it. Patrick Wells reports from Mariupol.
Video

Video Moscow Restaurants Suffer in Bad Economy, Look for Opportunity

As low oil prices and Western sanctions force Russia's economy into recession, thousands of Moscow restaurants are expected to close their doors. Restaurant owners face rents tied to foreign currency, while rising food prices mean Russians are spending less when they dine out. One entrepreneur in Moscow has started a dinner kit delivery service for those who want to cook at home to save money but not skimp on quality. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video US, Cuba Report Progress in Latest Talks to Restore Ties

The United States and Cuba say they have made progress in the second round of talks on restoring diplomatic relations more than 50 years after breaking off ties. Delegations from both sides met in Washington on Friday to work on opening embassies in Havana and Washington and iron out key obstacles to historic change. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas reports from the State Department.
Video

Video Presidential Hopefuls Battle for Conservative Hearts and Minds

One after another, presumptive Republican presidential contenders auditioned for conservative support this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference held outside Washington. The rhetoric was tough as a large field of potential candidates tried to woo conservative support with red-meat attacks on President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress. VOA Political Columnist Jim Malone takes a look.
Video

Video NYC's Restaurant Week: An Economic Boom in Fine Dining

New Yorkers take pride in setting world trends — in fashion, the arts and fine dining. The city’s famous biannual Restaurant Week plays a significant role in a booming tourism industry that sustains 359,000 jobs and generates $61 billion in yearly revenue. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports.
Video

Video Brookhaven at Cutting Edge of US Energy Research

Issues like the Keystone XL pipeline, fracking and instability in the Middle East are driving debate in the U.S. about making America energy independent. Recently, the American Energy Innovation Council urged Congress and the White House to make expanded energy research a priority. One beneficiary of increased energy spending would be the Brookhaven National Lab, where clean, renewable, efficient energy is the goal. VOA's Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Southern US Cities Preserve Civil Rights Heritage to Boost Tourism

There has been a surge of interest in the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s, thanks in part to the Hollywood motion picture "Selma." Five decades later, communities in the South are embracing the dark chapters of their past with hopes of luring tourism dollars. VOA's Chris Simkins reports.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.

All About America

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