The Chinese government's decision to ban foreign voice over IP phones may be linked to worries surrounding the impact that services like Skype and Google Voice may have on China's own state telecommunication companies.
The move is considered by some, like the Washington Post, to be a bold one aimed at protecting revenues for China Telecom, China Unicom and China Mobile.
A Chinese newspaper added that the three telcos would be the only ones allowed to carry VoIP services and are unlikely to be very cheap.
It's worth noting that the new regulations will ban VoIP to landline/mobile calls (and vice versa) but won't affect client-to-client calls.
Still it remains to be seen how the government will block VoIP services especially if, as expected, foreign telecommunication companies like Skype introduce Web-based voice over IP services.
Back in July 2009, the Chinese government cancelled its internet filtering application known as the Green Dam Youth Escort which was aimed at filtering online adult material.
Facebook, Youtube, Twitter and Flickr are already banned in mainland China since 2009 and for many, the only reliable way to access these blocked websites is to use VPN (Virtual Private Network) service which are unfortunately paid for and are well beyond the means of the average Chinese.
Banning foreign web services means that China is coming up with its own internet giants such as Tencent QQ, Baidu and Renren.