Why is this website blocked in China

Internet censorship check: China blocks heise online and 12 other German media sites

In the context of the ever escalating demonstrations and university occupations in Hong Kong, the Chinese government is also tightening the thumbscrews on international censorship. Heise online readers from the Middle Kingdom have been reporting for a few days that the website can no longer be reached from there. A current analysis by the makers of the "Internet censorship check" instrument now confirms that the heise.de domain is blocked, at least in large parts of China.

Critical reporting

According to the evaluation, a total of 13 major German media sites are currently blocked by the "Great Firewall of China". It was already known that tagesschau.de and the online presences of the "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung" and the "Süddeutsche Zeitung" had not been available in the East Asian country for some time. The examination by the censorship check has now shown that Arte, the "Bild" newspaper, Deutsche Welle, Euronews, "Focus", heise online, the "Manager Magazin", n-tv, NDR and the " Mirror "are on the blacklist.

Beijing does not give any official reasons for the blockades. Recently, heise online has reported critically, among other things, on the Hong Kong protests and digital mass surveillance in China, the path from the Tiananmen massacre to national network censorship, as well as social scoring and the loss of privacy in China. Chinese state apps with espionage potential and the surveillance of the Muslim Uyghur minority in Xinjiang were also repeatedly a topic in the news ticker.


The Internet censorship check is operated by the Experte.de portal, which is geared towards the self-employed and companies. The creators automatically check the availability of 152 German-language media offers in China on a daily basis. To do this, they operate servers in the three metropolitan areas of Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen. For this purpose, the corresponding URL is sent to each of these Internet computers and an attempt is made to establish a connection to the targeted news offer from the respective region. If this is not accessible, the status is set to "Blocked".

"For control purposes, we also check the website from servers in Germany, the USA and Hong Kong," says Experte.de. If the offer cannot be reached from there either, there may be a problem with the page itself. The check can also be carried out manually for individual domains. The censorship can be circumvented, for example, by using virtual private networks (VPNs). However, Chinese authorities keep trying to make such remaining access more difficult. (jk)

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