China, a country best known for freedom of speech has continuously been blocking various social media platforms over the past few years, and the new entrant in that bucket is the popular instant messaging app WhatsApp. After blocking videos and images, China has now blocked texting on the WhatsApp.
Chinese government’s internet censorship has already left big players like Apple and Google, and of course Facebook out of the huge Chinese market. Now new reports have emerged on the internet which says Facebook-owned WhatsApp is now blocked in China.
WhatsApp text messages utilises an encryption technology and the Chinese government wants to monitor internet communications, and therefore has blocked WhatsApp and is trying to steer its people to use technology that can be accessed and monitored by the government, CNN reported.
Some people might still use WhatsApp via virtual private networks (VPN), or with tools that masquerade internet traffic.
Facebook was banned in China in 2009, which was later followed by Instagram in 2014. Since then, Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg has been trying to re-enter the Chinese market that now holds 700 million people using the internet – representing a tremendous potential to do business in the country.
Last month, Facebook tried entering the China incognito and has authorised the release of a new app here that does not carry its name. The app is called "Colorful Balloons", and while it was released by Youge Internet Technology, having registered address in Beijing, there is not a hint of association with Facebook.
However, Zhang Jingmei, a women director of the company, has been spotted sitting next to Facebook executive Wang-Li Moser, in a meeting between Facebook and the Shanghai government, which hints that she is likely associated with the social network.
The app resembles the look and function of Facebook's Moments app and collates pictures from a smartphone’s photo albums and later shares them.