Much has been made of the “great firewall of China”, a name earned thanks to various services finding themselves blocked at times. The country seemingly picks and chooses to block certain services, and the process, at times, almost seems random.
This week, several companies seem to have found themselves on the wrong side of the fence, and one was Microsoft. The company was already unpopular with the government after choosing to kill Windows XP support, and China banned Windows 8 from usage on government computers.
The latest blockade includes several services, one of which is OneDrive, Microsoft’s cloud storage solution. It joins Flickr, KakaoTalk and Line in no longer being accessible in the nation. The ban, perhaps not coincidentally, follows a pro-democracy protest that took place in Hong Kong. It’s a logical reason, given the services blocked are used for communication and photo and file sharing, and China may wish to suppress news of the protest.
According to a source, Microsoft is currently investigating the outage, but no official statement has yet ben released by the software giant. However, many services blocked are frequently only temporary, and restored at a later point, though blocked again down the road. It’s an ever-changing landscape.