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China blocks encrypted messaging app Signal

China blocks encrypted messaging app Signal, Signal users in China reported issues sending or receiving messages, which went away when they used a virtual private network.

Encrypted messaging app Signal blocked in China. Also services like Face-book, Google and Twitter have been blocked for years in China.                       

Popular encrypted social media app Signal has become “unusable” for some in China, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday, suggesting that the app may have-  been blocked in CHINA. 

Users in China said Tuesday that they could not get the app to connect without a virtual private network (VPN) service. Messages failed to send and calls did not goes on Tuesday

The Chinese embassy in Washington, DC, pointed to comments Tuesday from Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian, who said he was not aware of Signal being blocked in China. What I can tell you is that as a principle, China’s internet is open, and the Chinese government manages internet-related affairs according to law and regulations, Zhao said.

China has now become the second country that has banned Signal banned in recent months. In January the messaging app posted on Twitter that it was being blocked in Iran after rising to the top of the Google Play Store in the country.

As fears over whatsapp’s privacy policies send millions of users over the world starts using signal and Telegram , the two encrypted apps are also seeing a slight user upsick in china. Telegram added 25m. the growth of these apps inn china isn’t remarkable as their popularity in regions where WhatsApp has been a mainstream chat App.

The privacy-focused encrypted messaging app has seen growing popularity in China over the last year, but installs lag far behind those of competing services

Signal uses end-to-end encryption for its messaging and calling services, which prevents any third-party from viewing conversation content or listening in on calls.

Signal’s popularity in China started to grow in February 2020. The app recently had grown popular among users in China as concerned about privacy issues, although the numbers of Signal users in the country is still small compared to the ubiquitous We-Chat messaging app

To date, the IOS version of Signal has been installed close to 510,000 times in China, according to data from Sensor Tower. That is relatively small compared with 3 million installs for Telegram, which is also blocked. As of December 2020, China had 989 million internet users

WeChat has over a billion users and is a mainstay of everyday life in China thanks to its payment services and social media features.
Recently, the popular social-audio platform Clubhouse was also shut down in the country. In China, services like Facebook, Google, and Twitter have- been blocked for years.

However, politically sensitive messages and content on WeChat are often censored, and authorities have detained users for spreading rumors online. Messages on We-Chat are encrypted only between its servers and the users’ devices, and in theory could be accessed by Tencent, WeChat’s parent company.

To circumvent China’s censorship and access sites like Twitter or Facebook, users in China often use VPN services, although the use of such services to access blocked services is illegal in the country.

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