Encrypted messaging app Signal seems to be blocked in China

by akoloy

The Signal Messenger app is displayed on a smartphone in Hong Kong, China.

Roy Liu | Bloomberg | Getty Images

GUANGZHOU, China — Encrypted messaging app Signal has stopped working in China and is now solely accessible through a digital non-public community (VPN).

China blocks many international apps and providers together with these from Facebook and Google. But Signal had beforehand not been barred by the so-called Great Firewall.

Signal claims to be end-to-end encrypted, that means the corporate itself nor any outsiders can view the contents of messages between a sender and the supposed recipient. This additionally means authorities can not eavesdrop on messages.

CNBC examined Signal on three completely different units and messages didn’t undergo, suggesting it has been blocked by authorities. The app was nonetheless accessible for obtain through Apple’s China App Store.

Signal was not instantly accessible for remark when contacted by CNBC.

The messaging app, nevertheless, nonetheless labored when used with a VPN. A VPN or digital non-public community permits customers to guard privateness and circumvent web restrictions by connecting to servers all over the world.

Signal being blocked in China highlights the rising web censorship on the earth’s second-largest financial system.

Downloads of Signal surged earlier within the 12 months after rival WhatsApp changed its terms of service to allow the sharing of some data with its guardian firm Facebook.

Signal is comparatively small in China with 510,000 downloads thus far from Apple’s App Store, in response to Sensor Tower. But the app offered a uncommon avenue for sending encrypted messages by means of a international platform and not using a VPN.

Still, the dominant messaging app in China stays Tencent-owned WeChat with over a billion users.

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