HONG KONG—Beijing’s censors appeared to slam the door on Clubhouse, Silicon Valley’s latest social-media hit, after a frenzied week in which the audio
HONG KONG—Beijing’s censors appeared to slam the door on Clubhouse, Silicon Valley’s latest social-media hit, after a frenzied week in which the audio-only chat app helped spark a rare outpouring of freewheeling debate on taboo topics in the Chinese-speaking world.
On Monday evening, Clubhouse users from Beijing to Shenzhen said their chats—some of which touched on the plight of China’s Uighur Muslims or the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989—were disconnected mid-conversation, replaced by an error message.
Thousands then quickly swamped newly created Clubhouse chat rooms to confirm the blockage after climbing back in using a virtual private network to circumvent China’s internet firewall.
Some said new user registrations were impossible because text messages with access codes were no longer being sent to phones.
After comparing notes, they concluded that Chinese censorship was the likely culprit. Many Clubhouse users in China had been anticipating a crackdown on the app in the week since the invite-only app began gathering large numbers of new users in the country.