What Happen to Skype in China?

Skype, the successful VOIP program which has earned international reputation is said to be blocked in China for economical reasons, at least in the southeast city of Shenzhen by China Telecom, the largest ISP (Internet Service Provider) in mainland China.

Skype has been in a joint adventure with its Chinese partner Tom Online. Their simplified Chinese version of Skype is called Tom-Skype. The major feature of Skype is the function named “Skype-Out”, which allowed its user to call other people’s telephone with good quality of voice.

According to an article on Sina Tech, VOIP program like Skype is illegal in China since the Ministry of Information Industry only permitted six state-owned enterprises, including China Telecom, to operate such program. Skype would be blocked in the major cities like Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen and the first step is to block users’ access to its server. China Telecom hasn’t confirmed it officially.

Virushuo cited a story of a Shenzhen Skype user surnamed Wang, who reported that his internet access was down and some ports were blocked. He consulted with the personnel at China Telecom, who replied that he had been added to a black list because he used Skype-Out and required him to guarantee not to use it any more. They also warned that next time he would be fined for 3000 Yuan, about 370 US Dollars.

Fons Tuinstra noted the international edition of Skype is still in effect and accessible. Anyone who wants to have this edition can email him at tuinstranl#yahoo.com as it is very hard to get in China. Lawrence Lee also point to a page in Chinese where people can download Skype of English version.

ZhangYizhen questioned the legitimacy of blocking Skype. He pointed out that Tom-Skype did not provide VOIP calling service directly. Users must buy credits from Skype headquarter in Sweden in order to use the PC2Phone function. He also said that the blocking decision may be not done by China Telecom national headquarter but its Shenzhen branch.

China has entered WTO and claimed to be market-oriented economy. However there still existed various forms of monopoly in which state-owned enterprises have an indisputable advantage over their rivalry on resources and governmental policies. This kind of competition is out of fashion as a blogger has put it, “Skype has been blocked in China but it won’t disappear


  • Frank,

    Your overviews of the Chinese blogoshpere are invaluable. As a new member in the blogging world, I’ve found your input very useful.

    My own blogging is aimed at Chinese learners of English – a subject that I have developed the last 15 years to.


  • […] Related Link: – Global Voices Online | What Happen to Skype in China? […]

  • Mike


    It is only fair to the telephone companies, that provide voice services with the network investment, that SKYPE is blocked….because SKYPE provides free voice services to its customers with the expenses of telephone company’s revenues. SKYPE then uses the customer base to sell adv. and make a lot of money. There is no free lunch in this world!!!

  • TheTruth

    Skype is doing nothing wrong. It’s wonderful, perfect. It is no different than chatting or trading files. It is simply voice in real time and still just 1’s and 0’s in the end. Skype users DO pay for internet service, so saying it is free is not really true. If Skype steals from TeleCom companies then so do email services and anyone who uses email and trades letters, photos, music.

  • lapinmalin

    there is a widely used skype and P2P blocking solution in opensource.
    check this link http://www.lynanda.com/products/software-for-corporations/traffic-filtering
    I’ve heard that this solution is what companies use to forbid skype within their network. China is suspected to use this or a derivative
    I think that providing that kind of censorship technology is in total contradiction with the opensource philosophy. Some people suspect Skype to be at the origin of this blocking initiative, for political reasons.

  • Alan

    friends ,
    I am using skype in China ,from skype i got a message in chinese , they have randomly sleceted people and giving a prize of 28000RMB + sony’s laptop .But i have to pay 875RMB as tax in their accout.Is it real?any such offers are there?

  • […] Fuente original […]

  • Skype is not wrong they just have to comply with censorship.

    Try Jajah: http://voice.yahoo.jajah.com/home/index.castle . This isn’t blocked yet in China and it is easy to use.


Join the conversation

Authors, please log in »


  • All comments are reviewed by a moderator. Do not submit your comment more than once or it may be identified as spam.
  • Please treat others with respect. Comments containing hate speech, obscenity, and personal attacks will not be approved.

Receive great stories from around the world directly in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the best of Global Voices!

Submitted addresses will be confirmed by email, and used only to keep you up to date about Global Voices and our mission. See our Privacy Policy for details.

Newsletter powered by Mailchimp (Privacy Policy and Terms).

* = required field
Email Frequency

No thanks, show me the site