Clubhouse, an audio-only buzzy social media app has been blocked in China. Queeny Li, a communications professional based in Shenzhen, Queeny Li, and Micheal Norris, a tech analyst, told CNBC, Clubhouse app no longer worked for them.
According to Norris the ban was expected and confirmed the news about the app being blocked in China.
Some of the Clubhouse users reported having received a message that read – “An SSL error has occurred and a secure connection to the server cannot be made.”
There has been no official confirmation of the news by the US-based Clubhouse, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China, and the Chinese embassy in London.
Clubhouse is an invite-only discussion app, it allows people to have an audio chat instead of regular written messages. After getting initial traction from the tech community in Silicon Valley the app quickly gained popularity in the very few months since its launch. The app is very popular in China where it is available for download.
Officially the app is not available in the Chinese iPhone App Store, people are using overseas Apple ID to get it. According to media reports, eCommerce sites in China are selling thousands of Clubhouse invites for around $77.
Currently, there are around 2 million active Clubhouse users in China who have managed to download the app and get an invite prior to the block.
Earlier the app was not banned by the Chinese Communist party and users were able to use it freely. Social media have always been known for being banned in China as is the case with Facebook and Twitter. It is commonly known as the “Great Firewall” for its digital censorship of overseas platforms.
We have witnessed constant friction between the two nations. Over the last few years, there has been tension related to Chinese tech firms like Huawei and TikTok. Looks like the split is getting wider.