Amid ongoing tensions between India and China over the June 15 standoff in Galwan Valley, China has blocked access to Indian websites and newspapers in their country.
This comes after Indian newspapers and news websites allegedly picked up reports about the Communist-led nation from Chinese Communist propaganda sites.
People in China had earlier been able to view Indian websites only through a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
VPNs are powerful tools that allow a user to override censorship blocking and visit a specific website privately and anonymously by creating a private network from a public internet connection.
However, the ExpressVPN has not been working in China over the past two days on iPhones or desktop computers.
Sources told the Hindustan Times that Indian TV channels can be accessed in China at the moment through the IP TV.
China’s firewall, known to be one of the most powerful (and also repressive) forms of online censorship in the world, has now blocked VPNs too. The technological interventions by this firewall are said to be highly advanced.
According to Hindustan Times, for example, if the words ‘Hong Kong protest’ are mentioned anywhere on websites like CNN or BBC, the screens in China reportedly go blank, and the site appears again only after the discussion/search on the topic is over.
According to the South China Morning Post, the Chinese government controls online content by blocking IP addresses, DNS attacks, and filtering data through specific URLs and keywords within URLs.
The blocked list of applications in China includes social networks like Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, news websites like The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and Bloomberg, and any tools on Google like Google Drive.
The developments in China come after India banned 59 applications (most of them Chinese), including TikTok, CamScanner, SHAREit, UC Browser, and WeChat.
The Hindustan Times quoted the government as saying that these applications are “prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order”.
Officials also told the Hindustan Times that Union home minister Amit Shah extended his support to block these apps, and had allegedly signed off on a recommendation by Union home secretary Ajay Bhalla on Saturday (June 27) before the order was issued by the IT ministry formally, according to protocol.