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Encrypted Messaging App Signal Stops Working In China

Encrypted messaging app “Signal” seemed to be no longer working in China without VPN on Tuesday morning, users within the country said.

China’s cyber authorities became increasingly strict in recent years, widening the scope of apps, media outlets, and social media sites banned within the country.

Signal’s website was also inaccessible in China on Tuesday morning.

The app was still available on Apple’s China app store as of Tuesday morning, and therefore the app and website seemed to be working normally in Hong Kong.

Signal’s press team didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Cyberspace Administration of China couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

The app was already unavailable on third-party Android stores in China, where Google services are largely blocked.

On several occasions, the app had previously stopped working in China without a VPN for no reason given, just for usage to resume.

Signal saw a surge in downloads worldwide after January 6 when WhatsApp updated its privacy terms, reserving the right to share user data, including location and phone number, with its parent Facebook and its other units like Instagram and Messenger.

Signal had been downloaded on the brink of 510,000 times on iOS in China and has been downloaded 100 million times worldwide on the App Store and Google Play combined, according to data company Sensor Tower.

Tencent’s all-in-one mobile app WeChat is China’s dominant messaging app, with its payment functions and other services, boasts quite a billion users globally.

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