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

ASEAN Ministers to Push for S. China Sea Agreements

According to documents obtained by VOA Khmer, ministers will stand up for 'freedom of navigation, unimpeded lawful maritime commerce, trade and over flight' More

Puerto Rico Defaults on $58M Debt Payment

Payment was due Saturday, default is first in country's 117 years as a United States possession More

Turkish Public Fears Jihadists More Than Kurds

Turkey facing twin threats of terrorism by Islamic State and PKK Kurdish separatists, says President Erdogan’s ruling AK Party 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.
Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Communityi
X
Sharon Behn
August 03, 2015 2:23 PM
A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs