Clubhouse: China blocks audio networking app, users say | News | DW

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China has blocked the American invite-only Clubhouse audio app, users said on Monday.

The app had briefly gained popularity as a free chat platform.

The ban was all the rage in its Chinese-language chat rooms after users received an error message saying the secure connection failed without a VPN.

A tweet from a New York Times China reporter Paul Mozur showed the error message. “Several people across China are reporting that the Clubhouse is now blocked,” Mozur wrote.

Clubhouse is an exclusive app that’s only available on Apple devices, which only the wealthiest people can usually afford in China. However, it has become a platform for users to freely discuss thorny topics.

These included issues generally censored in China, such as the mass detention of Uyghur Muslims and protests in Hong Kong.

Users predicted the ban

Chinese-speaking Clubhouse users expected authorities to end up censoring the app.

“I saw a lot of rooms discussing cross-strait issues and sensitive issues … and I thought this app wouldn’t last too long,” one user told AFP.

Another said he was concerned that China would target users of the app after the ban.

In a tweet, Fergus Ryan, an analyst at the International Cyber ​​Policy Center at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, warned Clubhouse users ahead of the ban to pay attention to their chats, predicting an impending blockage.

China extends the “Great Firewall”

Clubhouse is the latest app that China has censored in its crackdown on internet platforms.

Chinese users struggled to access international social networking sites, including Facebook and Twitter. The ban is commonly referred to as the “great firewall”.

Neither Chinese authorities nor the Clubhouse app have yet commented on the reported blockage.

fb / rt (AFP, Reuters)


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