Reuters, the news division of Thomson Reuters Corp, took it a step too far for China and has been blocked. Readers of the website though, are still not clear exactly what that step was.
Users first had difficulty accessing the website late on Thursday night. Since then, Greatfire.org, which monitors Chinese internet censorship and is currently suffering massive DDoS attacks, has declared the website blocked.
The general process consists of posting something that makes the censorship bureau frown, and subsequently having your internet press privileges revoked. This can happen permanently, but temporary censorship is also a norm, a shot across the bow from the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC).
Reuters has a deliberately brief history with the CAC, their Chinese language website having been given the chop in 2013. But with the removal of the English-language website, Reuters joins the ever-growing list of global news outlets the Chinese population does not get to enjoy, along with the New York Times, Bloomberg News, The Wall Street Journal, etc.
Unlike the NYT and WSJ, however, which felt the flames of the Great Firewall after publishing investigations into corruption at the highest echelons of the China's Communist Party leadership, Reuters has not published any articles recently that were particularly repugnant to Chinese authorities. Some commentators have guessed that this banning may have been preemptive, in expectation of an investigation currently in the works.
A Reuters spokeswoman had this to say:
Reuters is committed to practicing fair and accurate journalism worldwide. We recognise the great importance of news about China to all our customers, and we hope that our sites will be restored in China soon.
Add oil, Reuters. Just don't hold your breath...