China blocks The Economist, Time websites

chinaBeijing, (IANS) The Economist and Time have joined the list of foreign news websites including The New York Times, The Independent and the BBC currently blocked in mainland China.

The sites appear to have been censored as a result of recently published cover articles in the magazines critical of ChinaÂ’s President Xi Jinping, The New York Times reported on Friday.

According to GreatFire.org, a website that tracks internet and social media censorship in China, The EconomistÂ’s website and its cover article have been completely censored since April 2.

The EconomistÂ’s mobile app, through which users can download the magazine and read its online articles, has also been censored.

Several public accounts managed by The Economist on WeChat, a popular Chinese social media app, have also been suspended.

However, the websites of the publicationÂ’s umbrella company, The Economist Group, and the groupÂ’s consulting arm, The Economist Intelligence Unit, have not been blocked.

GreatFire.org also showed that those searching for the Time website or the magazineÂ’s cover article have experienced frequent connection resets since April 5.

ChinaÂ’s system of internet controls, known as the Great Firewall, resets the connections of web requests that contain certain censored keywords. TimeÂ’s mobile app is still functioning.

The two magazines published cover articles online this week examining the tightening control Xi has exerted over Chinese politics and the cult of personality he has built around himself.

“He has retreated into the world of Mao: personality cults, plaudits to the state sector and diatribes against foreigners supposedly intent on destroying China,” Hannah Beech of Time wrote.

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