Image credit: @hdz
Tech in Asia reports that numerous Beijing residents have received notice from their ISPs that their broadband connections will be going down “for maintenance” while the 18th Party Congress is taking place in the capital.
Notice ISP this week saying they are temporarily suspending our broadband service for maintenance.Should last a few weeks.#18th
— Jeremiah Jenne (@GraniteStudio) October 31, 2012
Woke up, 2 home internet connections both down.Reports of others broadband connections being suspended for “maintenance”. #chintranet
— Louisa Lim (@limlouisa) November 1, 2012
Other users are reporting while they do have internet access, the service appears to be severely throttled and they are struggling to connect to overseas VPNs.
Cutting off the web would be an extreme reaction, but a shutdown of major websites and ISPs during a major political event wouldn’t be unprecedented. June 4th — the anniversary of the government’s bloody crackdown on Tiananmen protesters in 1989 — is referred to jokingly by some net users as “Internet maintenance day” due to the fact that many websites and services seem to pick that particular day each year for scheduled maintenance. And following the Xinjiang riots, internet access in that province was severely curtailed for months.
Shanghaiist sympathises wholeheartedly with our Beijing brothers and sisters and don’t feel remotely smug about China’s second city having comparatively unmolested internet access. We wrote you a little ditty, to the tune of NOFX’s ‘Regaining Unconsciousness‘:
First they put away the ‘copters
Keep cadres safe while on the street
Then they put away the prostitutes
Keep party members in their pants
Then they shooed away the bums
They beat and bashed reporters
Turned away freedom seekers
Told us to be more supportive
We didn’t raise our voice
We didn’t make a fuss
It’s funny there was no-one left to notice
When they disconnected us
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