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Fears of tightening censorship as Chinese users report difficulty accessing Whatsapp

Chinese users of messaging service WhatsApp reported service disruptions on Tuesday, amid fears that that censors may be cracking down on the popular mobile app.

whatsapp china

Photo: HKFP remix.

WhatsApp users across China noted difficulties in sending and receiving images, videos and documents, with some resorting to Virtual Priviate Network (VPN) circumvention software to access the Facebook-owned service.

Censorship watchdog GreatFire.org noted that the Whatsapp website became blocked last month.

“Will Facebook react to WhatsApp partial block in China? Use tech to unblock service? Work with authorities to self-censor? Or do nothing?” it asked in a tweet.

Foreign ministry spokesperson Lu Kang told reporters on Tuesday that he had no information on the issue.

China blocked a similar service, Telegram, in 2015.

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Fears of tightening censorship as Chinese users report difficulty accessing Whatsapp