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China blocks several websites

MUMBAI: The Chinese government is blocking access to thousands of websites and cloud services in the lead up to the tech industry conference in Wuzhen.

As per a report in the South China Morning Post, the ‘Great Firewall of China’ is blocking The Atlantic, HSBC and Sony Mobile websites among many others ahead of the World Internet Conference. No reasons were given why these sites were blocked by the Internet censor.

The Chinese government is already very strict when it comes to the online space in the country; it has in the past blocked several online portals it didn’t agree with.

Blocked website EdgeCast said in a statement on its website, “We have been hearing from our CDN and monitoring partners throughout the industry and our own customers that more sites, CDNs and networks are being filtered or blocked by the Great Firewall of China. This week we’ve seen the filtering escalate with an increasing number of popular web properties impacted and even one of our many domains being partially blocked, with no rhyme or reason as to why.”

Reports suggest that the blackouts are in preparation for the World Internet Conference in the small provincial city of Wuzhen. The first of its kind to be held in China, the conference will be held from Wednesday to Friday, and will focus on issues like cyber security, international e-commerce and online anti-terrorism initiatives.

Chinese state media said that up to 1000 people from around the world will attend the conference. Leaders from internet giants, including Alibaba and Tencent, will be in attendance along with executives from LinkedIn, SoftBank and other global tech companies.

Although the rest of China will suffer Internet blackouts to various sites and services, conference attendees will have unrestricted access for three days to banned websites like Facebook and Twitter.