Having already blocked access to thousands of websites – including Bloomberg, The New York Times, Facebook and Twitter – authorities in China are now denying access to Reuters.
The internation news agency revealed the news itself, saying users in China started experiencing difficulties accessing its site late last night (19 March).
Sections of Reuters have been temporarily blocked in China before, usually relating to stories about the nation’s government. It’s unclear as to what has sparked this new, total block.
“Reuters is committed to practicing fair and accurate journalism worldwide. We recognise the great importance of news about China to all our customers, and we hope that our sites will be restored in China soon,” a Reuters spokesperson said.
Last November, Amnesty International condemned China’s practice of regularly blocking sites and pointed to the detainment of hundreds of people who have expressed their views online since President Xi Jinping came to power as suppressing freedom of expression.
“Internet freedom is under attack by governments across the world. Now China appears eager to promote its own domestic internet rules as a model for global regulation,” William Nee, China researcher at Amnesty International, said in a statement.
“This should send a chill down the spine of anyone that values online freedom. China’s internet model is one of extreme control and suppression. The authorities use an army of censors to target individuals and imprison many activists solely for exercising their right to free expression online.”
Man in Hong Kong image via Shutterstock