Popular iPhone messaging app WhatsApp newly crippled by China's 'Great Firewall'

Posted:
in iPhone
Facebook's last remaining tentpole product in China -- WhatsApp -- has reportedly been severely crippled by changes to China's internet filters, often known as the "Great Firewall."




New filters are specifically targeting WhatsApp functions, a source and several security experts told the New York Times. Many people are unable to send photos or videos, and some may not even able to send text, the app's main purpose.

The Times noted that based on the Chinese government's track record, a partial block could be the precursor to a full ban, though sometimes such disruptions are just temporary.

The government has tightened its grip on the internet in the past few weeks, most notably bringing new cybersecurity laws into effect. These in fact forced Apple to launch its first Chinese data center, since sensitive personal data must now be stored on local servers, and businesses must pass security reviews before they can transmit it elsewhere.

It's even expected that virtual private networks will be completely blocked in China by Feb. 2018, disrupting the one avenue Chinese residents had for circumventing the Great Firewall.

WhatsApp was already far less popular in China than a local messaging app, WeChat, but Facebook now has the barest of toeholds in the country, since both its namesake service and Instagram are banned.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 1,968member
    This is how China will help grow their home grown messaging apps companies by restricting and putting hurdles like they do for other outside businesses. Than, they use rest of world's openness and sell cheaper.
    sricewatto_cobralkruppanantksundaramjbdragon
  • Reply 2 of 11
    Miles Kwok... the exile Chinese billionaire to US has been exposing the no. 2 figure (qishan wang) in Chinese government of all his dirty laundry on YouTube, twitter in the past few months .. keok's primary secret communication channel with his sources in china? WhatsApp!
    lostkiwi
  • Reply 3 of 11
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 19,223member
    wood1208 said:
    This is how China will help grow their home grown messaging apps companies by restricting and putting hurdles like they do for other outside businesses. Than, they use rest of world's openness and sell cheaper.
    It is quite unbelievable to me how blatantly China throttles some of America's most successful, valuable, world-beating firms and industries from being able to compete there. Thus providing a competitive moat for their Alibabas and Tencents and Baidus etc. etc. And, inexplicably, gets away with it.

    Meantime, Washington DC is focused on coal, chicken, beef, corn, and cigarettes. We are such a pathetic, whimpering, toothless, paper tiger. All hat and no cattle.
    stevenozwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 11
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,652member
    wood1208 said:
    This is how China will help grow their home grown messaging apps companies by restricting and putting hurdles like they do for other outside businesses. Than, they use rest of world's openness and sell cheaper.
    It is quite unbelievable to me how blatantly China throttles some of America's most successful, valuable, world-beating firms and industries from being able to compete there. Thus providing a competitive moat for their Alibabas and Tencents and Baidus etc. etc. And, inexplicably, gets away with it.

    Meantime, Washington DC is focused on coal, chicken, beef, corn, and cigarettes. We are such a pathetic, whimpering, toothless, paper tiger. All hat and no cattle.
    I say this time and time again... Boot China out of the WTO before ANY dialog starts with that wretched country.  China's arrogant attitude that the world needs China to survive in business is an attitude that needs to be changed immediately.  China has poisoned the world with its cheap $30 microwave ovens and large flat-screen TV's.  Enough is enough.

    China blatantly violates everything that the WTO stands for, prevents foreign competition, and literally steals everyone's IP.  Hurt this country where it hurts the most.  Its economy.  If it wants access to other countries, it must first allow that same access within its own borders, unfettered by China's ridiculous government bureaucracy.
    anantksundaramwatto_cobraoseame
  • Reply 5 of 11
    stevenozstevenoz Posts: 232member
    My worry is that as antipathy for Dangerous Donald and his cohorts mounts, he will try to limit communications and the press too.

    We must be vigilant and vocal.

     
    lostkiwioseame
  • Reply 6 of 11
    securtissecurtis Posts: 86member
    sflocal said:
    wood1208 said:
    This is how China will help grow their home grown messaging apps companies by restricting and putting hurdles like they do for other outside businesses. Than, they use rest of world's openness and sell cheaper.
    It is quite unbelievable to me how blatantly China throttles some of America's most successful, valuable, world-beating firms and industries from being able to compete there. Thus providing a competitive moat for their Alibabas and Tencents and Baidus etc. etc. And, inexplicably, gets away with it.

    Meantime, Washington DC is focused on coal, chicken, beef, corn, and cigarettes. We are such a pathetic, whimpering, toothless, paper tiger. All hat and no cattle.
    I say this time and time again... Boot China out of the WTO before ANY dialog starts with that wretched country.  China's arrogant attitude that the world needs China to survive in business is an attitude that needs to be changed immediately.  China has poisoned the world with its cheap $30 microwave ovens and large flat-screen TV's.  Enough is enough.

    China blatantly violates everything that the WTO stands for, prevents foreign competition, and literally steals everyone's IP.  Hurt this country where it hurts the most.  Its economy.  If it wants access to other countries, it must first allow that same access within its own borders, unfettered by China's ridiculous government bureaucracy.
    As you type your reply from your electronic device likely made in China....... I'm all for doing what you say, but unless everyone is willing to put their money where their mouth is and stop buying Chinese products then it will always be just talk. Unfortunately, Americans by and large only care about price. 
    edited July 2017 watto_cobraoseame
  • Reply 7 of 11
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 19,223member
    securtis said:
    sflocal said:
    wood1208 said:
    This is how China will help grow their home grown messaging apps companies by restricting and putting hurdles like they do for other outside businesses. Than, they use rest of world's openness and sell cheaper.
    It is quite unbelievable to me how blatantly China throttles some of America's most successful, valuable, world-beating firms and industries from being able to compete there. Thus providing a competitive moat for their Alibabas and Tencents and Baidus etc. etc. And, inexplicably, gets away with it.

    Meantime, Washington DC is focused on coal, chicken, beef, corn, and cigarettes. We are such a pathetic, whimpering, toothless, paper tiger. All hat and no cattle.
    I say this time and time again... Boot China out of the WTO before ANY dialog starts with that wretched country.  China's arrogant attitude that the world needs China to survive in business is an attitude that needs to be changed immediately.  China has poisoned the world with its cheap $30 microwave ovens and large flat-screen TV's.  Enough is enough.

    China blatantly violates everything that the WTO stands for, prevents foreign competition, and literally steals everyone's IP.  Hurt this country where it hurts the most.  Its economy.  If it wants access to other countries, it must first allow that same access within its own borders, unfettered by China's ridiculous government bureaucracy.
    As you type your reply from your electronic device likely made in China....... I'm all for doing what you say, but unless everyone is willing to put their money where their mouth is and stop buying Chinese products then it will always be just talk. Unfortunately, Americans by and large only care about price. 
    Your response makes zero sense to me. Please explain to us your bizarre argument that the US wanting inexpensive products from some country gives permission to that country to ban the US's products or services?
  • Reply 8 of 11
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,652member
    securtis said:

    As you type your reply from your electronic device likely made in China....... I'm all for doing what you say, but unless everyone is willing to put their money where their mouth is and stop buying Chinese products then it will always be just talk. Unfortunately, Americans by and large only care about price. 
    It does not negate what China is doing and certainly does not get a free pass to continue doing it.  I myself proactively minimize any direct purchases of "made in China" products.  The benefit being that while I am paying more, the quality is almost always much better.  I know many others that do so and I believe the group is growing.

    If the world has to accept more expensive products because China is out of the WTO, so be it.  I'll be the first to vote for that.
    edited July 2017
  • Reply 9 of 11
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 3,944member
    wood1208 said:
    This is how China will help grow their home grown messaging apps companies by restricting and putting hurdles like they do for other outside businesses. Than, they use rest of world's openness and sell cheaper.
    It is quite unbelievable to me how blatantly China throttles some of America's most successful, valuable, world-beating firms and industries from being able to compete there. Thus providing a competitive moat for their Alibabas and Tencents and Baidus etc. etc. And, inexplicably, gets away with it.

    Meantime, Washington DC is focused on coal, chicken, beef, corn, and cigarettes. We are such a pathetic, whimpering, toothless, paper tiger. All hat and no cattle.
    Reasons apart, the US also takes direct actions to outright ban some Chinese companies from doing business in the US or with US firms.

    The best way US firms can react to any supposed Chinese throttling of business is to stop making products there.
  • Reply 10 of 11
    avon b7 said:
    wood1208 said:
    This is how China will help grow their home grown messaging apps companies by restricting and putting hurdles like they do for other outside businesses. Than, they use rest of world's openness and sell cheaper.
    It is quite unbelievable to me how blatantly China throttles some of America's most successful, valuable, world-beating firms and industries from being able to compete there. Thus providing a competitive moat for their Alibabas and Tencents and Baidus etc. etc. And, inexplicably, gets away with it.

    Meantime, Washington DC is focused on coal, chicken, beef, corn, and cigarettes. We are such a pathetic, whimpering, toothless, paper tiger. All hat and no cattle.
    Reasons apart, the US also takes direct actions to outright ban some Chinese companies from doing business in the US or with US firms.

    The best way US firms can react to any supposed Chinese throttling of business is to stop making products there.
    No, the US does NOT treat china any differently than any other country when it comes to their doing business here. There are standard rules under CFIUS (look it up) when it comes to acquisitions in certain sectors of the economy (that apply to everyone), and there are some policies against opaque government-owned business (e.g., Huawei) selling to the US government. 

    Plenty of of Chinese companies do plenty of business here, they buy companies here, and they raise capital. US companies don't regularly steal Chinese IP. There is simply no comparison between the US and China when it comes to economic openness or playing by the rules. None whatsoever. 
  • Reply 11 of 11
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 3,944member
    Your second post is far more precise than your first. My reply was to your first. 

    The reasons these things happen are debatable. 

    Should the US have stopped Intel selling Xeons to the Chinese government for national security reasons​? Was that really a wise move or an example of the US shooting itself in the foot?

    The Huawei investigation is getting long in the tooth now. If it proposed a deal with US ISPs today, do you  think the deal would be scuppered by government anyway? Do you think that groups would lobby against any such deal? Remember that Huawei's business model would represent a huge and direct threat to Apple in the US.

    Don't get me wrong, I agree with much of your second post.


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