Back in July, the Chinese government began blocking video and photo messages on the Facebook-owned messaging app, but now they’ve also figured out how to block WhatsApp text messages, reports the New York Times. What’s alarming is that it appears the Chinese government has developed special software just to block WhatsApp. WhatsApp messages use encryption technology, which makes them much harder to block than, say, a website.
Facebook has not yet commented on the block, but in an interesting bit of related news, Chinese messaging giant WeChat has admitted that it shares users’ personal info with the Chinese government, including names, contacts, email addresses, and even location data, reports Android Authority. It’s possible Facebook has refused similar data sharing requests from the Chinese government and thus has seen the blocking of WhatsApp.