The authorities of the People's Republic of China pursue a policy of regulating the Internet more carefully
than the authorities of any other country. In China, many sites and services that are familiar to residents of the United States, Europe and other countries are not working. The Chinese are not particularly affected, because they have a substitute for all of this - the Chinese instant messengers, social networks and services. But for WhatsApp, the inhabitants of the Celestial Empire in a few years managed to get used to.
And now it is necessary to wean - the messenger decided to block. In general, there is nothing strange here. Chinese authorities have long closed access to Facebook. WhatsApp is one of the services of this social network, so all this is the essence of the implementation of a single plan, blocking third-party services. In addition, Chinese regulators began to "work" with the messenger not now.
Shutdown of various WhatsApp services began in mid-July. First, the authorities decided to remove the possibility of sharing photos between users. Then the voice transmission function was disabled, followed by a violation of the file sharing function, video transmission.
Well, now the messenger has stopped working
almost all over China, although its efficiency still remains in several areas. As far as can be judged, the Chinese authorities are engaged in the development of specialized software that can be used not only for disrupting the operation of WhatsApp but also for other services too. And to call the usual methods of work used by the authorities now, it is impossible.
"This is not at all the typical method used by the Chinese government to censor something," said Nadym Kobeisi, a cryptographic specialist at Paris-based company Symbolic Software. This company began to track WhatsApp work in China after the authorities decided to take control. As mentioned above, instead of foreign services, the Chinese use "native", with about the same functionality. It is clear that Chinese social networks and chat rooms are fully controlled by the authorities.
As for Facebook, the company has not yet commented on the performance of the messenger in China, or the actions of the authorities of this country.
By the way, it is not yet clear whether WhatsApp will be permanently blocked, or it is a temporary measure, a precaution of the authorities before the next congress of the Chinese Communist Party, which will be held on October 18. Every five years the party chooses the next leader of the country. Most likely, the current leader, General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, Xi Jinping, will be left in charge for the next five years.
Problems with WhatsApp are costly for local entrepreneurs. “I lost the communication channel with my clients, I had to return to the phone and email,” says one of the entrepreneurs. Some users do not understand why the messenger does not work and try to solve the problem on their own. It is clear that no one succeeds, because the authorities act centrally. “Even whatsapp is blocked? If so, I will soon be out of work, ”says another user.
Most likely, China decided to close its users to WhatsApp, since the authorities cannot access the messages of users. The messenger is fairly well protected from outside interference, and only the users themselves can read the correspondence - data from secure chats is not stored on the servers.
By the way, many overseas services in China still work. For example, this refers to Skype - the VoIP application works without any problems. True, there is no end-to-end encryption, so, most likely, the authorities have access to user correspondence. In addition, Beijing allows Apple's FaceTime to work.
The main goal of the authorities is clear - to force users to somehow stop working with well-protected communication applications and transfer everyone to WeChat and other services to which regulators have access.
Now, some WhatsApp users report that they can work with the messenger if they use a VPN. But the problem is that the regulators and the VPN are trying to withdraw from the game
. In any case, an active struggle is being conducted with those services whose servers are located within the country, the authorities are trying to block access to external resources of this kind.