Skype still up in China despite VoIP crackdown

Dylan Bushell-Embling
03 Jan 2011

Skype has revealed it is still up and running in China, despite reports the government is cracking down on VoIP services not offered by the three major state-owned operators.

“Skype is not banned [in China],” company spokeswoman Jennifer Caukin toldBloomberg on Friday. She said services were still operational through Skype's JV majority partner in the nation, Tom Online.

The South China Morning Post had the day before reported that the government was starting to clamp down on internet telephony services.

On December 10, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology appealed for members of the public to report illegal VoIP services through a tipline phone number.

Based on Chinese regulations all VoIP services not offered by China Telecom, China Mobile or China Unicom - the only companies holding a basic telecom services license - are currently illegal, SCMP said. The crackdown would make China the only country in the world to ban VoIP.

The clampdown on internet telephony is ostensibly being conducted partly due to the growth in telephone fraud - the free availability of VoIP makes the callers difficult to track.

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