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China blocks access to Australian state broadcaster's website

Australian Broadcasting Corp., or ABC, said Sept. 3 that China has blocked access to its website for breaching the country's internet rules and regulations but did not specify any violation.

Access to the website and apps operated by ABC which were usually not subject to the "Great Firewall" of censorship in China, was abruptly stopped Aug. 22. This was a day after Australia banned Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. from providing equipment for the country's planned 5G mobile network on grounds of national security.

ABC said following its repeated requests for clarification, an official of the Office of the Central Cyberspace Affairs Commission said that "state cyber sovereignty rights shall be maintained towards some overseas websites violating China's laws and regulations, spreading rumors, pornographic information, gambling, violent terrorism and some other illegal harmful information which will endanger state security and damage national pride."

Chinese tech giant ZTE Corp. was also barred from the 5G rollout according to a tweet by Huawei Technologies (Australia) Pty Ltd.

ABC said access to other Australian websites including Fairfax Media Ltd., News Limited and Special Broadcasting Service Corp. were not affected.

Chinese censors however, have previously blocked international news websites such as the Chinese versions of The New York Times and British Broadcasting Corp.