Govt tells S.Korea it blocked KakaoTalk, Line, other apps to help fight terrorism

Source:Reuters-Global Times Published: 2014-8-8 0:23:02

Chinese authorities say they have blocked messaging apps KakaoTalk and Line as part of efforts to fight terrorism, South Korea said on Thursday, the first official explanation of service disruptions in China that began a month ago.

South Korea's Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning said China had confirmed it had blocked "some foreign messaging applications through which terrorism-related information" was circulating.

It named the other blocked apps as Didi, Talk Box and Vower.

"The ministry will continue negotiations with relevant Chinese counterparts to ensure that service disruptions for KakaoTalk and Line as well as inconvenience for the users in China are resolved as early as possible," the ministry said in a statement.

A spokeswoman at Kakao Corp, South Korea-based operator of KakaoTalk, said disruptions continued but declined to comment further.

A spokesman for South Korea's Naver Corp, parent of the Japanese-based subsidiary that operates Line, said it had been notified of the blockage but it also declined further comment.

China had informed South Korea that terrorist organizations were plotting or inciting attacks and spreading information about how to make bombs through channels such as mobile messaging apps and video websites, the South Korean ministry said.

The Chinese government informed the South Korean embassy that it will unblock the two messaging apps without providing the time frame, the South China Morning Post cited Yonhap News Agency on Monday.

Access to Line and KakaoTalk was disrupted in China from early July and prompted anti-censorship groups at that time to blame the government, saying it was trying to block information about pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong that were going on at the same time. 

Reuters - Global Times

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