WhatsApp Blocked in China, But VPN Access Still Possible


According to the New York Times, China has fully blocked WhatsApp:

WhatsApp now appears to have been broadly disrupted in China, even for text messages, Nadim Kobeissi, an applied cryptographer at Symbolic Software, a Paris-based research start-up, said on Monday.


Kobeissi said “This is not the typical technical method in which the Chinese government censors something,” noting his company’s automated monitors started noticing WhatsApp disruptions in the country last week, but as of today blocking was “comprehensive,” suggesting Beijing has figured out how to block not only media, but WhatsApp’s end-to-end encrypted text messaging.

For users attempting to use WhatsApp in China, a virtual private network (VPN) still makes it possible.

The move means users may be directed to alternatives such as Shenzhen-based Tencent’s WeChat app, which is easily monitored by the government. The blocking of WhatsApp is a blow to Facebook, as it is the only app owned the latter available in China. Some suspect the move was made ahead of the 19th Party Congress set to take place on October 18.



  • m Arch Tom’s on Bar N Ass

    was it not You publishing VPN apps were banned and then removed from app store in china ?

  • Riddlemethis

    Don’t kill the messenger unless it’s click bait or fake news. Lol.

  • Riddlemethis

    They use Wechat and Line in China. FB has been banned for a while. No loss here.

    FWIW. I think FB should be banned everywhere. Lol.

  • Olley

    Line’s not blocked there? Does that mean it’s been monitored by the Chinese gov?

  • ErnieGaijin

    most of the vpn apps were removed from the store regardless of their legitimacy. green vpn, the one based in china actually had to shut down its operations because they were, well, based in china. ones not operating from there cannot shut down but they could always ask apple to at least take them down from the chinese store, which they did. might not go the distance though cuz people can always get non-chinese vpns like ivacy, hma, hss or others and configure them over their phone or device manually, without even using the ios app.