Flickr.com, one of the world's most popular online photo-sharing sites and owned by Yahoo Inc., is likely being blocked by the Chinese government, Yahoo's Hong Kong unit said on Tuesday. Flickr—popular among a growing class of digital photo enthusiasts in the world's second-largest Internet market—has not shown photos to users in mainland China since last week, amid rumors Beijing took action after images of the Tiananmen massacre in early June 1989 were posted. "It is our understanding that Flickr users in China are not able to see images on Flickr, and we have confirmed that this is not a technical issue on our end," a spokeswoman for Yahoo Hong Kong said in an e-mail in response to a Reuters inquiry.
"It appears that the Chinese government is restricting access to Flickr, although we have not received confirmation from them," the spokeswoman said in the e-mail. "We are currently investigating this issue and hope that it is only a temporary one," she added. Officials from China's Ministry of Information Industry could not be reached for comment on Tuesday. The Communist Party has banned references to the June 4, 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown in state media, the Internet and books as part of a whitewash campaign, meaning most young Chinese are ignorant of the events.