App that allowed users in China to bypass the Great Firewall disappears: Report

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on October 12, 2020

It’s not yet been specified if the govt has taken down the app or if it’s been blocked by Google itself over licensing issues

A Chinese mobile browser-allied Tuber, which allowed users to selectively browse internet services that have been banned in the country, has now disappeared from app stores, according to a report by CNBC.

Tuber, which debuted last week allowed users in China to access services such as YouTube, Google and Facebook, according to reports.

The browser was previously available on China’s third-party Android stores, TechCrunch, which had tested the app, reported. The app was also backed by a journalist from the state-backed Global Times who had tweeted about it last week.

The reason behind the app no longer being available is still unclear. It has not yet been specified if the government has taken down the app or if it has been blocked by Google itself over licensing issues.

Also read: Chinese app Tuber provides legal way to get over China's great firewall

The app’s landing featured a newsfeed of YouTube videos. The app also contained tabs for Western internet services at the bottom, as per the report.

The app backed by Chinese cyber-security giant Qihoo 360 had provided a way for users to bypass the ban on these apps, dubbed the ‘Great Firewall’ in a legal manner. Previously, users in Mainland China restored to “illegal” use of VPNs to bypass the Great Firewall, the report said.

However, the Tuber browser was not devoid of censorship with keywords such as ‘Tiananmen’ and ‘Xi Jinping’ returning no search results on the app.

Also read: China announces initiative to set global data security rules

The mobile app for the browser is no longer available on app stores, including Huawei’s app store as per the CNBC report. The app’s website is no longer functional.

Published on October 12, 2020

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