BEIJING – The website of Spanish newspaper El Pais, which was blocked in China for three and a half years, is again accessible to Internet users in the country, according to EFE in Beijing and Shanghai.
The newspaper’s website could not be accessed on the Chinese internet, except when using virtual private network (VPN) software, since January 2014 when it published, along with other global headlines, information on alleged tax evasion by the country’s top communist leaders’ families and prominent entrepreneurs.
Following the publication of “Chinaleaks,” a precursor to the Panama Papers, unveiled in 2016, China blocked access to media such as El Pais, the French newspaper Le Monde (still inaccessible) and Britain’s The Guardian (already unblocked).
China’s State Administration of Press, Radio, Television, Film and Publications – in charge of Internet censorship – did not report the lifting of the blockade, nor did they warn of its imposition in 2014.
Earlier, the newspaper “El Pais” had been briefly accessible for a few minutes in China, perhaps due to technical problems of the firewall used for the censorship, although this time access continues for almost 24 hours.
China is the country with the world’s largest number of Internet users, with more than 700 million users, but it is also one of the nations which impose greater restrictions on the Internet, blocking some of the most popular pages in the world, such as Google, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, among others.