China has blocked WhatsApp, according to a latest report from the New York Times. The popular messaging app has joined other major apps like Facebook and Instagram that are censored by the Chinese government. The report stated that WhatsApp had been “broadly disrupted in China.”
Over the last few months, there were a number of WhatsApp disruptions in China. Users were not able to send to send video chats or photos. On
Monday the entire app apparently went down and user were unable to even send text messages via WhatsApp. The Facebook owned messaging app provides message encryption technology that likely does not please Chinese authorities, which closely monitor and restrict cyberspace through their “Great Firewall”.
According to CNN, WhatsApp users on international SIM cards and data plans have not experienced the same disruptions and the restrictions appear to specifically target China-based users. The WhatsApp shutdown comes at a time ahead of the Communist Party congress on October 18, when President Xi Jinping is expected to be given a second five-year term as the party’s general secretary. Facebook has been blocked in China since 2009.