Chinese authorities blocked domestic access to the audio-only social media app Clubhouse after it allowed Chinese citizens to access discussions on political and human rights subjects such as Xinjiang’s Uighur detention camps and Taiwan’s independence.
Users in China reported that they can no longer access the Clubhouse app but said that the website remained unblocked.
Censorship monitor Greatfire.org said that the Clubhouse API was blocked on Monday around 7 PM Beijing time.
“My Wechat timeline is full of posts about Clubhouse being blocked in China. What a brief moment of free expression!” said Li Yuan, tech columnist for the New York Times in Asia.
Despite being not listed on the Chinese App Store, it’s unclear how many Chinese citizens were able to access it.
Chinese E-commerce sites had reportedly sold g invitation codes for up to $70 which some citizens bought.
According to some users, controversial or banned topics in China such as the Tianmen Massacre were openly discussed in large rooms with as much as 5000 users.
According to the Financial Times, there was also a Chinese language chat room last Sunday which attracted 700 participants where China’s one-party policy was criticized.
Some users reported that they were able to circumvent the block using a VPN.
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