Censors in china have permanently blocked WhatsApp, a messaging application that can also send videos and images, The New York Times reported. This censorship came after a series of partial blocking upon the app’s widely used features.

WhatsApp has been the target of Chinese censors since mid-July. They began blocking some of the features such as chatting with video and sending files using this messaging application. The locals were also banned from using the voice chat feature as well.

However, the censors left the text messaging feature unblocked and citizens were still able to converse through this way. Blocking on the audio and video chats, as well as the file sharing options, were also lifted for a few weeks.

Total ban

But recently, Chinese authorities have entirely banned its citizens from using all the features of the popular messaging application. Many individuals have used the platform for school, work and even for business.

According to Bloomberg, this decision came after “illegal information” allegedly spread across users of these kinds of application. The authorities called out to this messaging service, saying that they should stop this type of information from going into the devices of their people.

Chinese authorities might have interfered with some of the messages sent through WhatsApp and found out some issues, The New York Times added. WhatsApp is owned by Facebook, one of the largest social networking sites in the world.

Facebook has been blocked in China earlier since 2009. Now that their subsidiary has been blocked as well, the only remaining stake of the company with the East Asian users is the application known as Colorful Balloons, which the social media company also operates.

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has expressed his desire to re-open partnership with the Chinese market. The company has not yet released their statement regarding the recent policy.

Private messages

WhatsApp uses an “end-to-end encryption” software that enables its users to keep communication lines private. This new policy coincided with a major event to be participated by the members of China’s Communist Party

WeChat is now among the remaining messaging platforms that the locals can use. This app is developed domestically in the East Asian nation, and openly provides users’ personal data to the Chinese government. It has over 950 million users in the country, The New York Times added.