Menu
China blocks Instagram, mentions of 'tear gas' amid Hong Kong protests

China blocks Instagram, mentions of 'tear gas' amid Hong Kong protests

Chinese websites including Baidu and Sina Weibo are blocking searches for "tear gas"

China started blocking the popular photo-sharing app Instagram on Sunday, as part of its moves to squelch any mention of the use of tear gas on pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.

Instagram, owned by Facebook, had remained one of the few U.S. social networking apps still accessible in a country known for its strict censorship of political topics. But on Sunday, users in China began reporting that the product had been blocked. From Beijing, the app was no longer loading new posts.

In an email on Monday, Instagram said, "We are aware of reports that people are having difficulty accessing Instagram and looking into it."

The Chinese government never comments on why certain Internet products are blocked, only suggesting that they've broken the law in some way. The block on Instagram could be an attempt to stop photos of Hong Kong's pro-democracy protests from spreading into mainland China.

On Sunday, police in Hong Kong used tear gas to disperse large protesting crowds, with video and photos of the clashes immediately going online.

Websites in mainland China have been blocking news about the events, citing the need to follow "relevant legal regulations and policies". Search results for "Hong Kong Tear Gas" have been censored on China's largest search engine Baidu, the site said on Monday.

One of the country's biggest social networking sites, Sina Weibo, has also blocked Chinese language searches for "tear gas". Other news websites in China have pulled down articles covering Sunday's protests.

China's online censorship has been growing stricter this year. In late May, the country began blocking all Google services in the country, cutting access to its search engine, which offered local users uncensored search results.

In July, mobile messaging apps, including Line and KakaoTalk, reported disruptions to their service, at a time when pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong had brought out half a million people.

U.S. social networking sites Facebook and Twitter have long been blocked in the country.


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags governmentmobileregulationFacebookmobile applications

Featured

Slideshows

Looking back at the top 15 M&A deals in NZ during 2017

Looking back at the top 15 M&A deals in NZ during 2017

In 2017, merger and acquisitions fever reached new heights in New Zealand, with a host of big name deals dominating the headlines. Reseller News recaps the most important transactions of the Kiwi channel during the past 12 months.

Looking back at the top 15 M&A deals in NZ during 2017
Kiwi channel closes 2017 with After Hours

Kiwi channel closes 2017 with After Hours

The channel in New Zealand came together to celebrate the close of 2017, as the final After Hours played out in front of a bumper Auckland crowd.

Kiwi channel closes 2017 with After Hours
Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ

Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ

HP honoured leading partners across the channel at the Partner Awards 2017 in New Zealand, recognising excellence across the entire print and personal systems portfolio.

Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ
Show Comments