WhatsApp: the Chinese government bans once again the messaging app

WA censored in ChinaThis has been an extremely difficult week for the Facebook-owned instant messaging app. The Chinese government has in fact, once again, temporarily blocked the app.

As reported at the beginning of the week by The New York Times, the service bad been “broadly disrupted in China”, while TechCrunch claims that many users couldn’t use WhatsApp from Sunday night, even if in some areas it was still possible to send and receive WhatsApp messages.

Strangely, WhatsApp has not yet released any comments on the blockage, and it seems that nothing will be said about this odd situation. The relationship between the app and the Chinese government has always been difficult, and it’s not the first time that the app has been banned in the country.

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But what is the reason for this last blockage? Many think that it is just another step toward censorship, taken before a major party meeting that will be held next month. During this meeting the current President Xi Jinping will be appointed again for a second term of five year.

And the encryption service that WhatsApp offers to its users is not welcomed by the current government for obvious reasons. So, let’s see if the ban is just temporary, of if it WhatsApp will be banned in a more permanent way in China.

And Facebook? Even Mark Zuckerberg hasn’t released any comments on the matter. We know that Facebook, along with other social media, is banned in China. But the app was smart enough to build another Chinese version of Moments (its private photo-sharing app), and called it Colorful Balloons. Colorful Balloons is distributed in China by a company named Youge Internet Technology.

China represents a huge market, offering great possibility to grow, so it’ unclear with this situation what step Facebook will take.

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