Signal secure messaging app stops working in China but no one knows why

Secure messaging platform Signal has reportedly stopped working in China without the use of a virtual private network (VPN). The service has been halted beginning Tuesday morning, reports suggest. Meanwhile, the messaging platform has gained traction in India after WhatsApp updated the privacy policy highlighting the data it sends to parent company Facebook earlier this year.

Here’s what happened

According to a report coming from Reuters, Signal’s official website was inaccessible in China since Tuesday morning. “Signal app was already unavailable on third-party Android stores in China, where Google services are largely blocked,” the report stated.

It further noted, “the app was still available on Apple’s China app store as of Tuesday morning, and the app and website appeared to be working normally in Hong Kong.” “On several occasions the app had previously stopped working in China without VPN with no reason given, only for usage to resume,” the report stated.

Neither Signal nor Cyberspace Administration of China commented on the matter.

Notably, Signal had been downloaded around 510,000 times on iOS in China. The app has been downloaded 100 million times worldwide on the App Store and Google Play combined, as per Sensor Tower.

What is Signal up to?

Signal has gained wide popularity recently. The encrypted messaging service saw a surge in downloads worldwide after WhatsApp updated its privacy terms.

Several WhatsApp users have joined Signal to connect with friends and family members after dropping out of the Facebook owned messaging platform due to updated privacy policy.

To further enhance the user experience, the encrypted messaging platform plans to add several WhatsApp-like feature in the days to come. One of the features that the messaging service plans to bring is an easy way to migrate account including chats to another smartphone.

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