Britain's 'Guardian' Newspaper Blocked in China
British newspaper the Guardian said on Wednesday that its website had been blocked in China. The paper's editors said they were unsure why the Chinese authorities had decided to ice them out from the country's media landscape now.
The Guardian joins a list of other prominent western media outlets blocked by China's so called "Great Firewall," a complex system of Internet censorship mechanisms. The websites of the New York Times and Bloomberg News have been blocked in China since they published exposés last year about the massive wealth amassed by family members of the country's leaders. The Chinese-language sites of Thomson Reuters and the Wall Street Journal were both briefly blocked in November.
"The reasons for the Guardian block are unclear -- no China-related stories published by the Guardian in the past two days would obviously be perceived as dangerous by the country's leadership," the newspaper said in an story published on its website. The paper noted that it ran a minor story on Monday on unrest in China's northwestern region of Xinjiang, but said the Guardian has "covered the subject before without any noticeable fallout."
“Numerous attempts to access the site from multiple browsers, devices and locations across Beijing all failed without the aid of firewall-circumventing software,” the paper added.
The Guardian ban comes at a time of heightened concern in the international media community about China's efforts to deter foreign reporting within its borders. In 2013, China delayed renewing the work visas of journalists for Bloomberg and the New York Times for 12 months, temporarily placing their status and ability to work in the country in jeopardy.
Popular U.S.-based social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, are also blocked in China, where there are an estimated 591 million web users – the world's largest Internet market.