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Skype Banned in China to Protect Local Telcos

People's Daily Online, the official publication of China's Communist party, reports that the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has deemed all (Western) VoIP services not provided by China Telecom and China Unicom as illegal to use on the China mainland.

Although the ruling was designed to protect state-owned carriers, a professor at Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications said that the ruling was ridiculous. "VoIP is a popular technology worldwide," professor Kan Kaili said in a Xinhua report.

The now-illegal services include Skype, UUCall, Gmail Talk and many others which now join a long list of banned Western-based Internet services consisting of YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Hotmail, Foursquare and many more. However Kaili believes that it will be extremely difficult to shut down the use of Skype and others on the mainland.

MORE: Learn more about VPN uses - you can unblock VoIP where it's banned

"Skype is the market leader, but there is also MSN and Gmail Talk," Kaili said in a separate statement. "The children of Chinese government officials, who are studying abroad, use these services to call home, so I do not think anyone is going to cut the lines. Even if they take a strict approach, such as getting local operators to block the broadband services of people who use Skype, people will still find a way around it."

Skype has denied reports of a possible banning in China, reporting that its Asia branch has not received any notification. "Users in China currently can access Skype via TOM Online, our majority JV partner," a spokesperson said. "TOM Online offers local versions of Skype for Windows, MAC as well as mobile platforms such as Symbian and Windows Mobile. More details can be found at"

As of this report, the ministry has not provided a timetable on when the new ruling will take effect.

Kevin started taking PCs apart in the 90s when Quake was on the way and his PC lacked the required components. Since then, he’s loved all things PC-related and cool gadgets ranging from the New Nintendo 3DS to Android tablets. He is currently a contributor at Digital Trends, writing about everything from computers to how-to content on Windows and Macs to reviews of the latest laptops from HP, Dell, Lenovo, and more. 

  • tank
    Its articles like these I am grateful to live in a free country no matter how screwed it might become sometimes.
  • joytech22
    I don't get China, they do all this stupid stuff like blocking websites and their reasons suck.
  • matt87_50
    lol, atleast their crazy bannings for political, cultural, social reasons, ect, have some weight... but this is just to protect their state owned monopoly of OBSOLETE technology!

    not only are they forcing people to use their state run services, but they are forcing them to use older, much more expensive services! its just about money! what a joke!
  • sonofliberty08
    the people can still use other service even the skype been block in china ,
    but to me i think all those teleco charge too much and make too much money , we should all switch to wi-fi and make internet call on mobile phone instead of GSM/GPRS/3G for lower cost and lower radiation
  • It's not just to protect the big State owned companies which is a big part of it but it is to achieve complete control to be all to spy on ALL communications. How is this not violating trade agreements? How is it ok for China to be allowed free all access to every countries markets but they can block everything or require a minority joint venture stake with a state owned company. Youtube- blocked, Facebook-blocked, Twitter-blocked, Many blogsites-blocked
    It really is hypocritical that they ban all these foreign companies but if you look at the Chinese sites they are flooded with stolen foreign products.

  • dogman_1234
    Why are we doing business with communists. I thought as a captialistic country we did not agree with communism. Now we are their..ummm...Bich.
  • mayankleoboy1
    hail CHINA!
    our next masters
  • kkiddu
    Chinese crap.

    1. They block stuff. Nuff said.
    2. They protect their industries that copy stuff. I'd give an example but I don't think anybody here needs one.
    3. They attack Google. If atheist net-junkies have a God, this is it.
    4. They sell nuclear tech to terrorists (read Pakistan).

    And still half the world would collapse without it.

    Anybody think it's time to reduce dependency on China ?
  • Another fine example of free trade and even global markets.
  • web11
    I say we should start blocking Chinese products from being imported to our country. Sure the big corporations that ship jobs overseas will cry about it but I bet our factory workers will approve of that measure...