Another two media organizations appear to have fallen behind the Great Firewall with Singapore’s Lianhe Zaobao website and the Financial Times‘ Chinese site both rendered inaccessible in mainland China.
Lianhe Zaobao is Singapore’s biggest Chinese-language newspaper and for years has been the only Chinese-language paper not based in China that’s still allowed to circulate inside the country. Generally, the paper is considered to have a notable pro-Beijing slant, making its blocking come as a bit of a surprise.
As of July 14th, Lianhe Zaobao was working in China with stories on Liu Xiaobo still accessible to mainland readers. However, earlier today, Weibo users began to complain that they could no longer access the paper’s website. This is not the first time that Zaobao has been shoved behind the Great Firewall. It was also blocked in 2009 for “unknown reasons.
At the same time, the Financial Times‘ Chinese site has also been blocked, while its WeChat account remains accessible. The reasoning for the block is not immediately clear; however, the Financial Times did break the news yesterday that Winnie the Pooh had become censored on Weibo.
— mewing (@anamewing) July 18, 2017
The two media organizations are just the latest to fall victim to China’s Net Nanny who really appears to be flexing her muscles recently. Already, outlets like the New York Times and Bloomberg are blocked in mainland China. Last year, the South China Morning Post, Hong Kong’s paper of record, also joined this list with censors wiping out its online presence in the mainland.
Of course, it’s also possible that FTChinese and Zaobao will be accessible again tomorrow as China continues to fine-tune its “online sovereignty.”
[Editor’s Note] An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Lianhe Zaobao‘s WeChat account had also been blocked.
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