Chinese authorities are blocking access to the clubhouse app, which allows users in China to talk about politically important issues such as Taiwan and the treatment of ethnic Muslim minorities.
The decision to add the clubhouse to the list of thousands of websites and applications blocked by the censorship of the communist regime illustrates Beijing’s attempt to control the stories among Chinese audiences.
The service for users in China was shut down on Monday, according to GreatFire.org, a non-profit group in the United States, which monitors Chinese Internet filtering and helps users avoid it.
Overseas researchers monitor server modules within China Telecom Ltd, a state-owned telecommunications group, to allow Internet traffic to pass in and out of China.
The Chinese government promotes “Internet sovereignty” or the right of political leaders to restrict public viewing online.
Clubhouse has temporarily provided its Chinese users with an uncensored forum to talk about politically important issues.
Unlike many applications, Clubhouse uses voice messaging, which allows users in China to communicate directly with people in Taiwan, on the island claimed by the Communist Party as part of its territory, and abroad.
E-commerce portals in Asian countries have sold thousands of invitations on the platform, featuring live discussions by celebrities including Elon Musk, founder of the Tesla electric vehicle brand in recent weeks.
Topics for recent discussions include the Xinjiang region in northwestern China, where human rights groups say the Communist Party maintains more than a million members of Chinese ethnic Uyghur Muslims in teaching camps.
This service requires users to call to access and provide their names and phone numbers.
This created warnings that Chinese users could face an official retaliation. There is no indication that anyone in China has been punished for using this service.
The ruling party is blocking access to Facebook, Twitter and other social networks, as well as thousands of websites run by news and human rights organizations, Tibetan, pro-democracy and other activists.
Chinese social networking sites such as WeChat or Weibo censorship content are considered illegal by the regime and condemn users who spread positions contrary to the regime.