Post updated May 16th, 2019 at 05:54 pm
Aside from services and apps by Google and Facebook, China’s Great Firewall has also infamously blocked Wikipedia from being accessed. The Chinese language of the free encyclopedia has been blocked since 2015. And it looks like the country has spread the ban wider, encompassing every language.
The AFP reports that the Open Observatory of Network Interference (OONI) has discovered the block, dating back to April. Wikipedia’s operators, the Wikimedia Foundation, says that it did not get any explanation regarding the block.
Charlie Smith, the pseudonym used by one of the co-founders of Greatfire.org, says that the blanket ban may have something to do with translation tools, which allows readers to translate blocked content into Chinese. This, in turn, may have something to do with the upcoming 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen protests, which falls on 4 June. Greatfire.org is an organisation that tracks online censorship in China.
This is another change in the Great Firewall’s reach that internet users in China will have to adapt to. Back in 2017, China began cracking down on unauthorised VPN use to circumvent the block.