Hello,

We noticed you're browsing in private or incognito mode.

To continue reading this article, please exit incognito mode or log in.

Not an Insider? Subscribe now for unlimited access to online articles.

Tom Simonite

A View from Tom Simonite

China's Mystery Internet Blackout

Internet access blacked out across China this week - was it a test of the government’s “kill switch”?

  • April 13, 2012

Between 11am and 1pm yesterday many - perhaps even most - Internet users in China were suddenly unable to access overseas web sites. The telecommunications providers that together handle all of China’s Internet traffic, China Telecom and China Unicom, have officially stated their infrastructure was not to blame, leading some observers to suggest the outage was a test of a government “kill switch”. In recent weeks the Chinese government has been actively punishing websites and users that spread “rumors”. The state-owned China Daily reported on that “crackdown” today, saying that online actions can result in “criminal punishment” and suggesting that users of Twitter-style microblogging sites self-censor to avoid trouble.

Want more award-winning journalism? Subscribe to Insider Basic.
  • Insider Basic {! insider.prices.basic !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Six issues of our award winning print magazine, unlimited online access plus The Download with the top tech stories delivered daily to your inbox.

    See details+

    Print Magazine (6 bi-monthly issues)

    Unlimited online access including all articles, multimedia, and more

    The Download newsletter with top tech stories delivered daily to your inbox

/3
You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. This is your last free article this month. for unlimited online access. You've read all your free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for more, or for unlimited online access. for two more free articles, or for unlimited online access.