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After Google, FB and Instagram, WhatsApp blocked in China

Public reports on Twitter indicated that WhatsApp became inaccessible for some people on September 19

IANS  |  San Francisco 

Instant messaging service has been largely blocked in China, the media reported.

The Open Observatory of Network Interference (OONI), a global observation network for detecting censorship, surveillance and traffic manipulation, suggested on Monday night that Chinese internet service providers started blocking access to on September 23, reports CNN.

Public reports on indicated that WhatsApp, which is owned by the US-based social media giant Facebook, became inaccessible for some people on September 19.

Over the last few months, there were a number of disruptions in China.

However, has not made an official announcement on the development.

China has already blocked access to a number of internet companies, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and

Some people access these services through virtual private networks (VPN), or with tools that disguise internet traffic to circumvent censorship. But the Chinese government has launched a crackdown on VPNs this year.

According to Timothy Heath, senior defence research analyst at the RAND Corporation, the Chinese government does not like that uses strong encryption.

"The government wants to monitor internet communications, and therefore it's trying to steer its people to use technology that can be accessed and monitored by the government," Heath told CNN.

Earlier this month, WeChat, a popular chat service in China, notified users of its policies to comply with government requests for information.

First Published: Tue, September 26 2017. 09:15 IST