10 Jan 2011
The Chinese government has moved to reassure that it will not be banning Skype, but said it will continue a crackdown on what it considers to be illegal VoIP services.
The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology's (MIIT) planned action, widely reported last week, will not target companies such as Skype and its JV partner in China Tom Online, China daily reported.
The MIIT at a recent industry conference stated that its clampdown will apply only to operators of illegal VoIP services.
The MIIT would not clarify what exactly constitutes an illegal service, but said the crackdown is intended mainly to target online crimes and fraud perpetrated via VoIP.
TeleGeography suggests the government may be planning to target only phone-to-phone VoIP services – which only the main carriers have permission to offer – but leave PC-to-PC or PC-to-phone services untouched.
In neighboring Nepal, the country's own lawmakers have turned their attentions to illegal VoIP services, which officials allege are costing operators 160 million rupees ($2.2 million) per month in missed revenue.
At a hearing of the nation's parliamentary Public Accounts Committee, the deputy inspector general of Nepal Police claimed that illegal VoIP channels account for two million minutes worth of calls per month, the Himalayan Times reported.