China bans ABC's website

  • The People's Republic of China has has censored the ABC's website.
  • China's cyber security regulator cites that the ABC's website was guilty of breaching the country's internet rules and regulations.
  • There has been no further clarification on how ABC breached these rules.



The Chinese goverment has confirmed that it has officially banned the ABC's website from being accessed in their country. Though there was initially no explanation for the censorship, a statement was eventually given to the ABC by an official from the Office of the Central Cyberspace Affairs Commision, citing that they have the right to take technical measures to block dissemination. 

"China's internet is fully open. We welcome internet enterprises from all over the world to provide good information to the netizens of China. However, state cyber sovereignty rights shall be maintained towards some overseas websites violating China's laws and regulations, spreading rumours, pornographic information, gambling, violent terrorism and some other illegal harmful information which will endanger state security and damage national pride." 

The official, who declined to give his name, did not articulate specifically how the ABC's website had breached regulations before getting banned by the Great Firewall of China. 

The Great Firwall of China (or "GFW" for short) is the term used to describe the technology and legislative actions enforced by the People's Republic of China to domestically regulate the internet. Predominantly, the Great Firwall's role has been to block access to selected foreign websites that are deemed a threat. Until August 22 of 2018, the website and app content of the Australian Broadcast Commision was not deemed a threat, but is now mysteriously seen to have violated certain regulations. Some have speculated that it may have something to do with the ABC running a Chinese language news service, as the Chinese government has been known to censor international news websites (such as the BBC and the New York Times) that host content in Chinese language versions.

Others think it may have more to do with the fact that ABC news has been outspoken about the Chinese government, especially in the past 18 months. Perhaps not coincidentally, China's decision has also come only three months after the Australian government struck a deal to sideline the Chinese company Huawei out of an upcoming high speed internet cable enterprise, on the grounds that the telecommunications giant could be a security risk to Australia. 

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