Image copyrightGetty ImagesThe messaging service WhatsApp has been disrupted in China as the government steps up security ahead of a Communist Party meeting next month.
"The run-up period to a gathering is normally a time of greater restrictions of all kinds to assure that the critical Party Congress is held under ideal social conditions and is not disrupted", Robert Lawrence Kuhn, long-time advisor to China's leaders and multinational corporations told the BBC.
"China has shown little tolerance to encryption especially on platforms that can be used to share materials or potential propaganda," Bill Taylor-Mountford, Asia Pacific vice president for LogRhythm told the BBC.
On Monday, China's cyber watchdog handed down maximum penalties to some of the country's top technology firms including Tencent, Baidu and Weibo for failing to properly censor online content.
The penalties were imposed for failing to remove fake news and pornography, as well as content that authorities said "incites ethic tension" and "threatens social order".
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