China has blocked access to the Wall Street Journal, adding the renowned newspaper's website to a list that reads like a who’s who of the US-based international new outlets.
A check on monitoring site GreatFire.org confirms that cn.wsj.com has been 100 per cent blocked since August 2, 2013 and may have been obstructed at other times earlier this year.
GreatFire, itself 100 per cent blocked in China, tests the availability of URLs once every month and records every single test with a tag of ‘Blocked’, ‘Otherwise restricted’, ‘Contradictory’, ‘No censorship detected’, or ‘Not enough data’.
Twice in the past year, cn.wsj.com has come in with a ‘Contradictory’ tag, suggesting the domain has been blocked before.
Chinese hackers have reportedly waged war on the US media outlet, with owner Rupert Murdoch stating in February that the practice was still going on after the New York Times (NYT) had suffered a four-month hacking campaign.
It’s so far unclear as to why the Murdoch owned site has been targeted in China and it follows the NYT and Bloomberg being blocked in the country.
Access to the two was impeded last year after they published articles detailing the piles of money amassed by President Xi Jinping and former Premier Wen Jiabao, according to the South China Morning Post.
WSJ’s English language site remains available to Chinese customers as well as the company’s page on the country’s Weibo social networking site.
News outlets being blocked are just the tip of the iceberg with the world’s largest search engine, Google, and the planet’s most popular social networks including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn, all inaccessible to some degree.
It will be interesting to see how long WSJ remains blocked in China. If the government maintains the same stance as it has with NYT and Bloomberg, the Chinese-language WSJ website may not be accessible again.
Image credit: Flickr (Ogilvy)