Signal, the encrypted messaging app has stopped working in China
Encrypted messaging app Signal on Tuesday was no longer working in China without the use of a virtual private network (VPN). Reportedly, the app, which is used for encrypted conversations, is currently unavailable in mainland China. Mainland China banned the app’s website on March 15, according to censorship tracking website Greatfire.org.
TechCrunch reports that though the Chinese government has not made any official announcement about Signal being blocked or banned in the country, Signal's website was unavailable in the country. However, the app has been still available on Apple's China app store and both the app and the website appeared to be working normally in Hong Kong.
As per, data company Sensor Tower, Signal has been downloaded close to 510,000 times on iOS in China and has been downloaded 100 million times worldwide on the App Store and Google Play combined.
The messaging app’s growth was likely concerning for Chinese authorities who attempt to monitor and keep a check on everything done on the internet in mainland China.
The app has also seen significant growth in the Indian market.
The Executive Chairman of Signal Foundation Brian Acton, who co-founded WhatsApp along with Jan Koum sold it to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg for $19 billion. He now aims to add 100-200 million users on Signal in India over the next two years. The founder left WhatsApp in September 2017 to start the Signal Foundation. It was dedicated to helping people who have access to private communication through an encrypted messaging app.
*Edited from an IANS report.