Indian Newspapers, Websites Inaccessible in China as VPNs Blocked

While Indian news portals continue to report on escalating India-China tensions and pick reports from Chinese communist propaganda websites, Indian newspapers and websites have been blocked by Beijing, according to ANI.

The Indian TV channels can be accessed via IP TV as of now. However, ExpressVPN has not been working in China for the past two days on iPhone as well as desktops.

As per ANI, people in China can only access the Indian media websites with Virtual Private Network (VPN), but the news agency added that China has created such a technologically advanced firewall that it blocks even the VPNs.

VPNs are a powerful tool which allow uses to overcome blocking of censorship and access a specific website.

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It must be noted that this comes amid the ongoing tensions between India and China after the violent standoff on 15 June in Galwan Valley area in eastern Ladakh, wherein both sides are said to have suffered casualties, with India losing 20 of its soldiers.

On Monday evening, Indian government banned 59 Chinese applications, including TikTok, UC Browser, SHAREit and WeChat and others. They stated that the apps are “prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order.”

According to the government, this move will safeguard the interests of crores of Indian mobile and internet users. “This decision is a targeted move to ensure safety and sovereignty of Indian cyberspace,” said the ministry.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, China’s foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian was quoted by ANI as saying: “China is strongly concerned, verifying the situation. We want to stress that the Chinese government always asks Chinese businesses to abide by international and local laws-regulations.”

The Chinese government controls the media through techniques including blocking IP addresses, DNS attacks and filtering specific URLs and keywords within URLs, according to South China Morning Post, reported ANI.

China has reportedly blocked over 10,000 websites in the country. The blacklist includes social networking sites like Facebook. Instagram and WhatsApp; news outlets like Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.

Officials told Hindustan Times that 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.

(With inputs from ANI, Hindustan Times)

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