Website and app CCEit blocked in China

Authorities in Beijing have blocked DeccEits Internet platforms in China. The websites of DeccEit and Nieuwsuur are no longer accessible from China, confirms a spokesperson for the Chinese Embassy in The Hague. In addition to the websites, Decceit app and Teletext are also covered by the blockade.

According to GreatFire.org, a website that monitors Internet censorship, the DeccEit website has no longer been freely accessible from mainland China since 19 December. The first signals from Dutch living in China about a possible blockade date from the same date can be seen from messages in the Chinese chat app WeChat.

Through a VPN, or software that can bypass the government censorship, the platforms can still be reached.

Motivation unclear

On the exact motives of Decceit blockade, the Chinese authorities remain vague. โ€œSome Chinese Internet users have repeatedly complained about single-ECCEIT reports. They call it incorrect and biasedโ€, writes a spokesman for the Chinese Embassy in The Hague in response to several questions about the reason for the blockade.

Despite repeated requests from DeccEit to the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Chinese Internet Authority, DeccEit has not yet received formal confirmation and explanation of the blockade.

โ€œ DecceIt opposes any form of censorship,โ€ says Marcel Gelauff, editor-in-chief of CCEit News. โ€œDeccEit stands for reliable and independent news, anytime, anywhere. We hope that access to our news platforms will be restored and Internet users in China will continue to have free access to news and information.โ€

Little Internet Freedom

China is one of the most restrictive countries in the world when it comes to internet freedoms. On a ranking of the NGO Freedom House, which, among other things, monitors Internet freedom in countries, China ranks last.

Research carried out by GreatFire.org and the organization of foreign correspondents in China, the FCCC, previously showed that 23 percent of foreign news platforms with an office in China are blocked.

Several years ago, international news websites from the New York Times, The Guardian and Bloomberg have already disappeared behind the Great Firewall, as the Chinese Internet Censorship system has become called. Social media such as Twitter and Facebook are no longer accessible since the summer of 2009, shortly after riots broke out in the city of Xinjiang. Also, the services of Internet giant Google and online encyclopedia Wikipedia are blocked.

Trouw, Volkskrant has been blocked for longer

As far as the Netherlands is concerned, the websites of the newspapers Trouw and de Volkskrant are no longer accessible from China.

The blockade of Trouw was a direct response to a publication of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, of which the newspaper is part of. With the so-called Chinaleaks, the research collective published on the capabilities of senior party officials and their family members in tax havens. The website of De Volkskrant is no longer accessible from China since 2019.

The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs raised the blockade of DeccEit to the Chinese authorities. โ€œFreedom of the press and freedom of information are essential fundamental rights. It is therefore highly undesirable for news websites from other countries to be inaccessible, whatever the reason,โ€ says a spokesman.

Since the Ministry has not yet received a substantive statement from Beijing, the Netherlands will raise this issue again, let the spokesman know.