Blogging platform Medium is no longer accessible in China, according to reports.
Blocked in China, which tracks sites barred by the Great Firewall, confirmed Medium can’t be accessed.
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The reason why Medium has been blocked now when it went uncensored in the country for over four years is unclear. But its recent update allowing publishers to host their content on the site and monetize it seems likely to have played a part in fuelling the decision. It opened the doors for blogs that may have previously been banned in the region to become available to readers in China
Prior to cutting ties with the blogging platform, China also blocked the websites of Time and The Economist.
China’s blocking of Medium comes not long after a similar dispute in Malaysia where the authorities blocked the website after a publication it hosted allegedly published false information about the country’s prime minister. It also follows the country’s culling of all details to do with the Panama Papers on social media.
Several of the files leaked were linked to relatives of high-profile Chine leasers, so editors in the country were ordered to remove all mentions of the papers from their respective sites .
China has long ruled its internet in an authoritarian manner and to an extent, it has benefited the state, which has its own thriving technology sector independent of Silicon Valley. Companies like Sina, Tencent, Alibaba and Baidu are perfect examples. The lack of access to mainstream social networks like Facebook and Twitter have allowed local services like Weibo and messaging app WeChat to grow to hundreds of millions of users.
That being said, the blocking of people’s access to outside uncensored sources is something that shouldn’t be decided by a committee and regardless of the country’s vibrant economy, it could stand to lose a lot more than it’s gained if the blocking continues. There are only so many doors you can shut.