China’s biggest internet service provider is blocking access to several sites on the internet in the country, as a warning to other countries trying to block its data.
China’s biggest Internet service provider, China Telecom, blocked access to four popular sites on Thursday, with users unable to access social media and news websites, a state media report said.
The websites were a video chat service called ‘Qixin’ and a popular news site called ‘MaoNews’, both run by the ‘Weibo’ social network.
The move was a “clear signal to the world that we will not stop our work”, a spokesperson for China Telecom told Reuters.
“We will not be silenced, but we are not a threat to the internet.”
The four blocked sites include a popular YouTube channel called ‘WeChat’ which was also blocked on Thursday.
The video chat site, known as WeChat, is popular in China but is now blocked by Chinese censors.
In addition, the government’s state-run People’s Daily newspaper on Thursday said it had blocked “seven websites related to internet censorship”, according to a summary of the report.
The government’s website also said it was blocking a number of other websites on Thursday and added that it had “not yet decided on the number of sites we will block”.
The move is likely to fuel a fight over internet freedom in China, where internet users have been locked out of some websites and internet service providers have been accused of throttling access.
China’s internet is increasingly tightly controlled by a handful of companies, who have been battling to expand their reach and to control the web’s flow.
China is the world’s largest Internet market, but internet users are increasingly under pressure from Beijing to reform the country’s tightly controlled system.
Some of the blocked websites include WeChat , a popular video chat app, and a number on China’s official news website.
Another site run by a company called Weibo, which is popular with Chinese netizens, is also blocked.
Weibo is popular among younger users, and its news feed has attracted more than 7 billion views.
On Thursday, Weibo also published a video message to other Chinese web users urging them to block the sites.
A video message was also posted on Weibo’s Facebook page on Thursday by another video chat company, Xianyun, which it described as the “largest social network in the world” and which offers news feeds from over 100 media sites.
“The message is very simple,” Xianys website said in a brief statement on Thursday evening.
The video messages come as China has announced plans to introduce a nationwide internet shutdown this week, which will be followed by a nationwide data shutdown next month.”
Our users are our most important customers and we hope they will understand and accept this message.”
The video messages come as China has announced plans to introduce a nationwide internet shutdown this week, which will be followed by a nationwide data shutdown next month.
The new measures are part of the government-imposed internet policy announced in November, which includes measures to “protect the stability and security of the internet”, according a statement by China’s Ministry of Commerce on Thursday morning.