China blocked the Clubhouse, the new invite-only social app that’s gaining worldwide popularity
Last month, we wrote about Clubhouse, the new secret, an invite-only social app that’s taking the internet by storm. The app grew from over 600,000 users in December and is now expected to cross the 1 millionth user mark in just a few days. As the app continues to gain steam outside the United States, China has reportedly blocked the app after a brief uncensored period.
We all know that China is very selective on what they let their citizens have access to. Well, they have officially blocked the app Clubhouse. The clubhouse is an invitation-only audio-chat social networking app that was launched in 2020 by software developers Alpha Exploration Co.
Clubhouse has faced criticism here in the U.S. for its non-effectiveness of moderation and abuse-prevention practices, so it’s hardly a surprise that it wasn’t allowed in China, which has very strict enforcement to stop the spread of information the government sees inappropriate.
Early Monday evening Clubhouse users in China found themselves not being able to access the app. Thinking something was wrong they rushed to report the issue and were trying to help other gain access.
Users are claiming they can no longer receive verification codes to their Chines phone numbers which are needed to access the chat. Which now has put them under the radar by the government as this can be traced back to them.
It’s not known how the Chinese were able to gain access to the app as it’s not available in their app store but they found a way. A room discussing the 1989 pro-democracy Tiananmen protest, which is a taboo topic in China, had reached the maximum number of participants at 5,000 prior to the block.
In the past few weeks, the app had sored in a few communities in the mainland of China. Some popular rooms were, startups, investment, and academics. Knowing it wouldn’t last long they quickly joined and entered chats when they could for as long as they could.
Could this be the beginning of an end for global censorship? With Parlor gone, and Twitter and Facebook blocking or deleting former President Trump and some of his former cabinet members. India has also blocked several apps in their country.
Clubhouse was founded in March 2020 by Paul Davison and Rohan Seth. Just two months later, the app was already valued at around $100 million despite having just 1,500 users at the time, according to a report from CNBC. The clubhouse’s still in beta but Silicon Valley is already going crazy because celebrities and high-profile venture capitalists are promoting it.