WhatsApp service disrupted in China as censorship tightens

BEIJING (AP) — The encrypted messaging service WhatsApp is suffering intermittent disruptions in China as communist authorities tighten censorship controls ahead of a major ruling party meeting.

Attempts to set up new WhatsApp accounts on some Chinese mobile phones on Tuesday were met with network error messages. Others reported difficulty sending images and video.

Chinese authorities are tightening controls on social media ahead of the party congress next month at which President Xi Jinping is due to be appointed to a second five-year term as leader.

WhatsApp, which is owned by Facebook, offers Chinese users more privacy than government-monitored domestic services.

On Monday, regulators fined WeChat’s parent company and two other social media services for failing to fully enforce censorship.

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