New Delhi: In retaliation to India’s recent ban on 59 Chinese apps, including TikTok and UC browser, which came as a response the deadly June 15 clash between Indian and Chinese troops in eastern Ladakh’s Galwan Valley, China has targeted the WION news channel by blocking its access in the country. Also Read - Ban on Chinese Apps: Beijing Urges India to Correct Discriminatory Practices, TikTok Says Will Work With Govt
Earlier, there were only reports, that the Chinese government has blocked access to the WION website-www.wionews.com-in mainland China. However, this has now been confirmed by GreatFire.org, which is a Chinese internet monitoring watchdog and has emerged as a database for internet censorship in China and international news outlets. Researchers use it to track digital censorship there. Also Read - All 59 Banned Chinese Apps Now Removed From Google Play Store, Apple App Store
Notably, WION has been on the Chinese government’s radar since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, when it reported extensively on China’s cover-up, resulting in Beijing expressing its displeasure in what can only be called, more ways than one. Also Read - After India Bans 59 Chinese Apps, ByteDance Set to Suffer Rs 45000 Crore Loss: Report
Zhao Lijian, the Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson had, in March, blocked WION on Twitter. Chinese diplomats in India, too, have criticised its coverage of the pandemic.
In June, Global Times, the mouthpiece of the ruling Chinese Communist Party, by naming WION in a piece, had asked it to think ‘independently’.