China Telecom has started blocking access to a popular Internet telephone service that is threatening its long-distance revenue, according to local media reports and Internet postings.
China's largest fixed-line phone carrier recently began blocking access to service from Skype Technologies SA, a European-based Internet telecoms services provider, in the affluent southern city of Shenzhen near Hong Kong, according to the reports, including one in the Shanghai Daily.
They said China Telecom, whose broadband Internet service allows access to Skype, has plans to eventually block the service throughout its coverage area nationwide.
They also said the carrier has created a "black list" of people who use the service in Shenzhen, and threatened to fine anyone who tries to get around the new obstacles.
China routinely blocks access to Web sites on politically sensitive subjects such as the banned Falun Gong spiritual movement and the 1989 crackdown at Tiananmen Square that left hundreds dead. But blockage of sites for purely economic reasons is much less common.
News source: Reuters