Chinese WhatsApp users are fearing that the app is being blocked in the country but WhatsApp has been partially blocked in China as authorities tighten the grip on the internet. On Tuesday Photo, Video and voice messages were blocked but text messages were not affected.
Nadim Kobeissi, a cryptography researcher based in Paris who has been investigating the WhatsApp disruption, said he believed The Great Firewall was only blocking access to WhatsApp servers that route media between users while leaving servers that handle text messages untouched.
The popular social network has been blocked since ethnic riots in China’s far west in 2009 and Instagram was banned during pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong in 2014.
The Government has blocked many social media platforms. The app was partly inaccessible unless virtual private network software was used to circumvent China’s censorship.
The government has also pledged to clamp down on users who try to get around the restrictions, by tightening regulations on VPNs. WhatsApp content is encrypted, “they have moved to brute censor all non-text content,” Smith said in an email.
Other social media platform like WeChat are being monitored by censor to check if it contains any sensitive political information.