Instagram blocked in Beijing and across China, likely due to protests in Hong Kong

By Nona Tepper, September 29, 2014

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Following protests in Hong Kong, popular photo sharing and editing app Instagram has been blocked in mainland China.

Servers in Beijing, Shenzhen, Inner Mongolia, Heilongjiang province and Yunnan province are currently unable to reach the site, according to blockedinchina.com. There is no news on when the site will be back up (time to add that VPN to your phone).

Many Hong Kong protestors uploaded photos to the site labeled with the hashtag #OCCUPYCENTRAL, a phrase blocked on Sunday on Weibo. It was allowed earlier that day.

While news of the Hong Kong protests aren't the most censored topic on China's twitter-like messaging forum, it appears most posts are critical or by state-media such as People's Daily.

"Photos of Hong Kong police being forced to disperse demonstrators with tear gas have been circulated online across the world," one upsetting editorial read. "These activists are jeopardizing the global image of Hong Kong, and presenting the world with a turbulent face of the city."

This is not the first time the app has disappeared from mainland Chinese phones. In July, Instagram was unavailable to download from Android phone stores, although those who had already downloaded the app or had different models of phones could still use it.

The exact number of Instagram users in mainland China is unavailable, but the platform had been increasingly popular in China over the years. The site currently has more than 200 million worldwide users, most of them from outside the United States.

 

 

READ: Confrontation inevitable as China rules out Hong Kong democracy

READ: Students across Hong Kong boycott class to demand democracy

READ: Update: What's going on with Hong Kong student strike?

READ: Hong Kong student leader arrested after protestors storm Civic Square

READ: Occupy Central civil disobedience movement officially begins in Hong Kong

READ: Tens of thousands of pro-democracy protestors occupy Admiralty in Hong Kong

READ: Hong Kong Police fire tear gas at pro-democracy demonstrators, threaten to shoot

READ: Hong Kong protests spread despite ruthless police crackdown

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