China has a long history of blocking popular sites including social networks and Western-owned websites. And to carry this tradition, the Chinese government has now blocked the messaging platform giant WhatsApp in the country. However, this messaging platform was partially-blocked in the past, but now the entire service seems to be non-functional. The popular sites like Facebook, Wikipedia, Twitter, and Instagram are already blocked in mainland China.
The reason behind the blocking of WhatsApp in China is it end to end encryption attribute that works across all aspects of messaging, i.e., text, video, audio, and documents. Moreover, the Chinese government was in a dilemma for a long time, and they find it difficult to track down the messages under surveillance. This ban will hamper the Facebook plan of expansion in China.
After this prohibition, the many Chinese users switch to WeChat messaging services and the company has confirmed to share users data to the Chinese government. This means that the app will now share users personal credentials such as name, contacts, email address and location if users have chosen to share it. The Chinese government is taking the aggressive steps to control illegal online activities.
The Messaging platforms like WhatsApp and WeChat are very vulnerable to criminal scenarios, and the security agencies are not able to track down the message contents due to encryption. In case of terrorism and domestic crimes, the situation can become more worst, as these messaging platforms can act as a secure information channel and which the Chinese government would tolerate at any cost. To some extent, the Chinese government action against WhatsApp seems to be fair because they have every right to secure their web boundaries against the illegal activities through this messaging channel.
WhatsApp has recently crossed 1 Billion active users per day and over 250 million status updates in a day.