The clubhouse is now blocked in China after a brief uncensored period

As the country prepares to begin its weeklong lunar New Year holiday, several thousand Chinese users were suddenly unable to access the clubhouse on Monday evening. Among the WeChat groups, Clubhouse users rushed to report the situation and help each other with ways to get back into the Red Hot Live Audio app.

The audio drop-in startup Clubhouse was rapidly gaining steam in China, drawing a surprise to users who were initially conversing on a variety of topics. This application seems to be able to meet the fate of other applications and services based in the United States, such as – a ban – and until Monday, Clubhouse’s face has confirmed by TechCrunch. Chinese users will no longer be able to access the Clubhouse app, although the app’s website is blocked. The app’s model is unlikely to come back with much change to control the Chinese Internet.

The clubhouse is now blocked in China after a brief uncensored period

Clubhouse has been criticized in the United States for lack of effective restraint and abuse-prevention practices, so it is not surprising that the government has ultimately downplayed the more stringent implementation of measures designed to mitigate information that the government deems inappropriate for discussion. The app was not officially available through Apple’s China App Store, although access to it and its audio rooms was freely available before today without the use of a VPN, if a user had installed the app on their device.

The app was briefly available on the Chinese App Store after launching worldwide in September but removed in October, TechCrunch reported earlier. It is not clear if Clubhouse or Apple is pulling the app.”It’s not Apple’s job, but they will be happy to get out of the tight spot, because Apple’s involvement in the removal from the Apple Store will change the discussion of server blocking by the authorities,” said Benjamin Ismail, director of publicity and advocacy Greatfire.org. , Which monitors censorship in China?

Since Clubhouse not listed on the Chinese App Store, it is not clear how many people from mainland China were on the platform. The 1989 pro-democracy Tiananmen protest before the ban, a room to discuss a Chinese ban, reached the highest number of participants this evening. Another room focused on the same subject attracted more than 2,000 users.

Clubhouse’s API blocked during Beijing time around 7 PM on Monday evening, Greatfire.org told TechCrunch. Some users within WeChat groups have stated that they can no longer accept verification codes on their Chinese phone numbers, providing additional signals at the barrier level. Many Chinese users have signed up with Chinese phone numbers, which linked to their real IDs and make it easier for police to identify them.

Over the past two weeks, Clubhouse has grown in popularity among a few communities in mainland China, including startups, investors, and people from academic or foreign backgrounds. Many of them were aware that the application would not last long in China, given away free, and political debates often hated the platform. “How long will the clubhouse last in China” and “Have you been invited to have tea to use the clubhouse?” Titled clubhouse houses attract large crowds. “Drinking tea” is a myth to take away for police interrogation.

As TechCrunch noted on Saturday, the initial success before this shutdown of the clubhouse has prompted the creation of several homegrown options already designed around drop-in audio networking. The popularity of the clubhouse in China, however, can be difficult to replicate to any one of these types – for the same reason the original app is now accessible within the country.

With a Great Firewall circumvention tool like a virtual private network (VPN), some users in mainland China managed to regain access to Clubhouse, TechCrunch learned. Some features are able to hear and speak with their VPN off, so long as they have entered a room via a VPN. Agora, operated from the United States and China, supplies SD, which powers Clubhouse’s live audio interaction, TechCrunch reported earlier.