WhatsApp was a few of international online services operating in China and now the Chinese government has blocked it as well.
This is a major setback for Facebook as it is already banned in China since 2009 and the CEO, Mark Zuckerberg was also trying to re-enter the Chinese market. WhatsApp was the last major product of Facebook to be available in China as neither the social network nor Instagram is available in the country.
China blocked different services of WhatsApp including file sharing, photo and video sharing and even voice messages. But text messages were still working as they operate on a different protocol. But today, China has also banned the protocol used for sending text messages and WhatsApp is completely out of service now.
The reason behind the block could be security. WhatsApp has an end-to-end encryption for messages and the Chinese government cannot track the messages and get user data. On the other hand, WeChat shares users’ personal data with the Chinese government. WeChat is the most popular messaging app in China with over 600 million active users.
Let’s see if and when the Chinese government lifts the ban from WhatsApp and Facebook.