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Encrypted messaging app Signal stops working in China


The encrypted messaging app Signal no longer appears to be working in China without using the VPN on Tuesday morning, users in the country said, according to Reuters.

The encrypted messaging app Signal in China could not be accessed Tuesday morning.

China's electronic authorities have become increasingly strict in recent years, expanding the country's banned applications, media, and social media sites.

China prohibits many foreign applications and services, including those from Facebook and Google, but Signal has not previously been blocked by the so-called Great Firewall.

The app was still available via apple's app store in China as of Tuesday morning, and the app and website appear to be operating normally in Hong Kong.

The app was not available in third-party Android stores in China, where Google services are largely banned.

On several occasions, the previously encrypted messaging app Signal stopped operating in China without a VPN without giving a reason.

Signal saw an increase in downloads worldwide after January 6, when WhatsApp updated its privacy terms, retaining the right to share user data, including location and phone number, with its parent company, Facebook, and other companies, such as Instagram and Messenger.

The Signal app has been downloaded nearly 510,000 times over iOS in China, and has been downloaded 100 million times worldwide across the App Store and Google Play combined, according to data company Sensor Tower.

The signal is relatively small in China but has provided a rare way to send encrypted messages via a foreign platform without a VPN.

Tencent's WeChat mobile application, china's dominant messaging app with payment functions and other services, has more than 1 billion users worldwide.

Signal claims to be end-to-end encrypted, which means that the company itself or any third party cannot display the contents of messages between the sender and the intended recipient, which also means that the authorities cannot intrude on the messages.