China blocks WhatsApp ahead of Communist Party meeting

  • President Xi Jinping is due to be appointed to a second five-year term as leader in COngress meeting

BEIJING – Popular smartphone messaging app WhatsApp has been disrupted in China as the government is ramping up security measures ahead of a Communist Party meeting next month.

Although users have faced problems with the app for more than a week with services dropping in and out but on Monday, the majority of tech savvy users could not even send text messages through the application.

WhatsApp was Facebook’s only product that was allowed to operate in mainland China but the online censorship seems to be terminating this as well.

The tightening of digital censorship comes as China steps up security ahead of the Communist Party’s national congress which is held every five years.

The importance of this year’s meeting can be gauged from the fact that President Xi Jinping is due to be appointed to a second five-year term as leader for which the government is apparently trying to stave off political discussions on the platform.

On the other hand, there was no word from WhatsApp about the clampdown till the publication of this news piece.

WhatsApp is one of the world’s most popular messaging services, with over 1.2 billion users and its end-to-end encryption feature attracted Chinese users.