Chinese users rushed to Clubhouse to debate Xinjiang and Taiwan and other controversial topics, but it’s been blocked…


nytimes.comThe New York Times
Tuesday, Feb 9, 2021

By Melina Delkic
Under the leadership of Xi Jinping, China’s government has been ramping up its efforts to assert near-total control over what citizens read and say online.  Kevin Frayer/Getty Images
China blocks Clubhouse, but it has left a mark
The Chinese government blocked the social media app Clubhouse, after it briefly offered mainland residents an outlet to speak their minds and communicate with people in Taiwan, Hong Kong and the diaspora.
Thousands of people had flocked to it to talk about democracy, Taiwan, the repression of Uighur Muslims and other sensitive topics. Many waited in line for hours to speak in the audio chat rooms. The format, where conversations eventually disappear, made some more willing to share personal stories.
Analysis: The conversations helped illuminate why the Chinese government blocks free speech online. “Those free-flowing exchanges threaten to debunk the caricatures that the state-controlled media often foists upon the Chinese people,” writes Li Yuan, a tech columnist for The Times.
Details: The app was created last year by Silicon Valley venture capitalists and quickly took off. An appearance on the app last month by Elon Musk, the tech billionaire who enjoys a cult following in China, led to a surge in Chinese interest.






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