Github is blocked in China

Great Wall of China

It looks like Github has gotten caught up in the great firewall of China — a development flagged first by Hacker News at about 1:40 a.m. PT Monday morning.

The Hacker News itempointed readers to DNS lookup information posted early Monday that the popular project hosting and code sharing site was unavailable to users in Beijing, Shenzen and other Chinese localities.

githubchina

Update: According to a newer post on the HN thread:

“I believe the blocking is directly related to an automated train ticket polling plugin that had brought down Github just days ago. Due to upcoming Chinese New Year, newly released train tickets are sold within minutes. That plugin introduces huge traffic to already crumbling ticket vending site, and it has obviously made railroad bureau angry. Blocking Github makes that plugin immediately malfunction because it makes reference to javascript files hosted on Github pages. The bureau has also paid a visit to the plugin’s author, for the purpose of intimidation perhaps.”

San Francisco-based Github is the most popular project hosting and code sharing site — last week it said it passed the 3-million user mark. It is not alone when it comes to companies that run afoul of Chinese censorship. YouTube, Facebook and news sites have been blocked, and last year Chinese users were unable to download a new version of Node.js because its version number was the same number as the date of the Tiananmen Square uprising.

As many on Twitter commented this morning and as GigaOM has reported before, these roadblocks not only hinder the flow of news and information for citizens, they hurt the ability of Chinese developers to compete — and in this case collaborate — on a global basis.

This story was updated at 07:55 a.m. PT with new information from the Hacker News post 

Feature photo courtesy of Flickr user matt512

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