In retaliation to India imposing a ban on at least 59 Chinese mobile phone apps in the wake of violent faceoff between Indian army and Chinese forces along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Galwan Valley, the Xi Jinping government targeted the WION news channel by blocking the access to its website in China.
According to reports, Beijing has blocked access to WION website — www.wionews.com in mainland China.
GreatFire.org, which is a Chinese internet monitoring watchdog, has confirmed that WION has been completely blocked in China.
GreatFire.org has emerged as a database for internet censorship in China and international news outlets and researchers use it to track digital censorship there.
Since the beginning of coronavirus pandemic, WION has reported extensively on China’s cover-up, and hence, Beijing expressed its displeasure over this in more ways than one.
In March, the spokesperson of the Chinese foreign ministry,- Zhao Lijian, blocked WION on the social networking site Twitter. Chinese diplomats in India too criticised WION’s coverage of the pandemic.
In June, a piece in the Global Times named WION, asking the channel to “think independently.” The publication is perceived as the lifeline of Beijing’s propaganda machinery.
It’s no secret that China doesn’t like the idea of a free press and the ban on WION is part of the same strategy of press censorship.