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Indian websites not accessible in China as Xi Jinping govt blocks VPN: Report

Hindustan Times logo Hindustan Times 30-06-2020 Shishir Gupta

While Indian newspapers and TV channels continue to pick up reports about the People's Liberation Army (PLA) from Chinese Communist propaganda sites, the Indian newspapers and websites cannot be accessed in Beijing now without Virtual Private Network (VPN) server.

a close up of a keyboard: China has even blocked the Virtual Private Networks, thereby preventing Indian websites from being accessed. (Representative Photo) © Provided by Hindustan Times China has even blocked the Virtual Private Networks, thereby preventing Indian websites from being accessed. (Representative Photo)

According to diplomatic sources in Beijing, the Indian TV channels can be accessed through IP TV as of now. However, ExpressVPN had not been working in the Communist state for the past two days on iPhone as well as desktops.

Also watch: Indian government bans 59 Chinese apps including TikTok (Video by The Times of India)

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VPNs are powerful tools which allow users to overcome blocking of censorship and visit a particular website. But China has created such a technologically advanced firewall that it blocks even the VPNs.

China is infamous for its repressive online censorship and the Xi Jinping government has refined it into an art with high-tech interventions. For example, anytime the word Hong Kong protest is mentioned on either CNN or BBC, the screens in Beijing go blank and news only returns after the topic is over.

The blocking of Indian websites is the latest amid the ongoing tension between India and China after the Ladakh stand-off on June 15. The latest development coincides with the Indian government's move to ban 59 applications, most of them Chinese.

The popular apps which have been banned include TikTok, UC Browser, SHAREiT and WeChat. The government has cited concerns that that these applications are "prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order".

The move comes after weeks of discussions within the government that began before the border dispute with China flared up earlier this month, but was expedited in the aftermath of the deadly June 15 confrontation in Galwan Valley, officials aware of the discussions told HT on the condition of anonymity.

Officials cited above said Union home minister Amit Shah extended his support to the move to block the applications, and signed off on a recommendation by Union home secretary Ajay Bhalla on Saturday before the order was formally issued by the IT ministry as per protocol.

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