Xinjiang, China Internet Block to last until October 1st 2009, Face Book and Twitter?

According to the local media in China, things flared up 2 days ago again. So while internet restrictions were about to be lifted the current official line is October 1st – China National Day – is when the blocks will be lifted.

Right now there is no internet service in all of Xinjiang. This is confirmed by my relatives there. Of course we don’t know if GPRS or CDMA data access is blocked. People can always use a modem to and dial up to a POP in another city – but the point isn’t about stopping people like myself, that in 1999 unwired their hotel room phone jack in order to hook up a modem and dial out.

So if I were a betting man, I would guess that October 1st brings a lifting of net blockage in Xinjiang and maybe Face Book and Twitter and Friend Feed blocking for the rest of us.

Though like anything in China….don’t hold your breath. But maybe we will have something else to celebrate on China National Day?

45 Responses to “Xinjiang, China Internet Block to last until October 1st 2009, Face Book and Twitter?”

  1. Jul22nd2009
    1 Tianna Jul 22nd, 2009 at 2:16 AM

    Where did you hear they wouldn’t unblock the internet until October 1st?

  2. Jul22nd2009
    2 richard Jul 22nd, 2009 at 9:20 AM

    It was on CCTV…

  3. Jul22nd2009
    3 Jamie Jul 22nd, 2009 at 7:52 PM

    October? Just great…

  4. Jul22nd2009
    4 richard Jul 22nd, 2009 at 9:38 PM

    Tell me about it…..it may be sooner, it may be later, it may be never….

  5. Jul26th2009
    5 Tianna Jul 26th, 2009 at 12:05 PM

    It can’t be never… can it?

    Can mail be sent there from other countries, do you know? Like letters and such?

  6. Jul26th2009
    6 richard Jul 26th, 2009 at 12:11 PM

    Never? Anything is possible.

    Mail and letters and the like… I have no idea. Good question though. Phones still work so I guess so. Mail is a bit slow though for any use in the vein that the authorities are worried about.

  7. Jul26th2009
    7 Tianna Jul 26th, 2009 at 12:24 PM

    Well yes, but isn’t it hurting business?

    And well, mail usually takes 20 days from USA to China but still, it is contact so idk if it would work… I don’t want to spend 4 dollars to check though, because it would take at least 40 days to find out if it works. 20 days there 20 days for a return.

    Where on CCTV did you see it? I can’t find the article. Also, phones work, but international texts don’t so are phones blocked from international calls and such, or just no texting? Or is it only cell phones ban?

  8. Jul26th2009
    8 richard Jul 26th, 2009 at 12:48 PM

    Most business in that region is local to China – it is their “Mini Australia” where they get raw commodites from. As to the CCTV – it was on the TV – my wife watched it – being from Xinjiang herself she takes an active interest in the topic.

    Mail for me doesn’t take that long – but it would be worth a test. I’d say it would go through. As tp phones – each province has it’s own mobile subsidiary – this is something that I only learnt recently when reading about the intra service mobile portability breakthrough of last month (see chinatechnews.com) . So at a regional level services can decide what they support or don’t support…

  9. Jul26th2009
    9 Tianna Jul 26th, 2009 at 2:21 PM

    oh yeah that is true. And I take an active interest because I know someone there. I am going to look through the archives there I guess.

    According to my bf in Xinjiang though, they don’t know when the ban will end, so I wonder why they don’t. It is funny he can talk to a friend in China who can talk to me.

    Well it takes about 15-20 days… unless I want to spend an arm and a leg for rush mail…. but I don’t know now if I should even try. His friend told me he is visiting his home town in 15 days and they are going to convince him to stay there and not go back to Xinjiang.

    I hate this ban though… I was okay if it lasted for a week or two but this seems like overkill.

  10. Jul26th2009
    10 Roger Muncy Jul 26th, 2009 at 9:08 PM

    All international calls are blocked in & out of Xinjiang, Cell phones as well as land lines. Land lines are open to other parts of the country but not outside of China.

    I have managed to get letters to my girlfriend via DHL but at a very hi cost…. $27.00 for a letter. Western Union Telagraph can’t even function yet.

    If it lasts till October I’ll be broke at this rate.

  11. Jul26th2009
    11 richard Jul 26th, 2009 at 10:48 PM

    @ Roger

    How are you connecting to my blog to post? As your IP comes up as a USA IP range assigned to Verizon? Are you using a proxy?

  12. Jul27th2009
    12 Tianna Jul 27th, 2009 at 12:15 AM

    @ Roger too haha

    Why was it 27 dollars? this is USD right? Why did it cost so much? Why not go through the USPS, last letter I sent through that was only 3 dollars 80 cents.

    I don’t understand why they can talk to other parts of China… but not anywhere else…. I think having access to talking to other parts of China would have affected the riots as well as overseas Chinese…

    This is hurting a lot of people who were never even connected to the riots >.< ugh… why couldn't they just block the area of Urumqi? Not the whole province?

    I wonder if I should rethink my idea of teaching ESL in China ……

  13. Jul27th2009
    13 Rob Merrill Jul 27th, 2009 at 3:51 AM

    I called my step-daughter, on her cell, in Xinjiang on Friday, 7-24. She lives a little outside Urumqi. It took a couple of tries but I did get a call through.

    As for the mail I sent a letter just before the riots and it has not got there, and has not been returned, yet.

  14. Jul27th2009
    14 Tianna Jul 27th, 2009 at 10:45 AM

    @ roger..

    Why DHL why didn’t you use USPS. What is the difference? I use United States Postal Service and it gets there in about 15-20 days and it only cost me $3.80 USD.

    @ Rob

    Where are you? somewhere in China or outside of China?

    But I still don’t get why the ban only bans communication with outside countries… I think that some people in China but outside of Xinjiang may have impacted the whole riots too, not just other countries…

    And it is funny that it seems like this ban is affecting a bunch of people not involved in the riot.

    Btb, why didn’t they just ban Urumqi? not the whole province of Xinjiang? Wasn’t the riot limited to the Urumqi area? Why block all of Xinjiang?

  15. Jul27th2009
    15 Urumqier Jul 27th, 2009 at 8:44 PM

    Thanks for sharing information. I tried to call my family in Urumqi, but did not get through. I did not realise that both landline and mobile are blocked. Last weekend I called mobile without problem.

  16. Jul27th2009
    16 richard Jul 27th, 2009 at 11:28 PM

    We have been able to speak with our family in KuiTun – about 3 hours drive north of Urumqi without problems. But that town is 95% Han…. if not more so….

  17. Jul28th2009
    17 Tianna Jul 28th, 2009 at 11:04 AM

    I can’t talk to my bf in Boertala Menggu, how can you talk with someone in KuiTun? are You in China?

    I have talked through a friend in Zhengzhou through phones… So I know not all phones are blocked through talking to China… Texts don’t work outside of China to Xinjiang though..

  18. Jul28th2009
    18 richard Jul 28th, 2009 at 11:35 AM

    Just pick up the phone and dial. Granted I have a real mobile phone account linked to my China bank account and registered with my ID (not a throw away one) so that may make a difference. I also spend upwards or 1K RMB per month on the phone – so maybe my phone is “seen” as a reliable and verifiable communication device? That may be over thinking things – but that is about it. Just pick up the mobile and dial and it works…..

  19. Jul28th2009
    19 Tianna Jul 28th, 2009 at 11:54 AM

    So you are not in China or you are?

    And I can’t really do that, texting is to expensive I bet calling is way too much.

  20. Jul28th2009
    20 richard Jul 28th, 2009 at 11:59 AM

    I am in China. In Beijing….

  21. Jul28th2009
    21 Tianna Jul 28th, 2009 at 1:33 PM

    I am not…so I can’t talk at all to Xinjiang….does their internet work just not certain sites, and stuff?

  22. Jul28th2009
    22 richard Jul 28th, 2009 at 2:03 PM

    From what I gather from the relies, internet does not work at all and all phone calls in and about China are fine….

  23. Jul28th2009
    23 Tianna Jul 28th, 2009 at 2:09 PM

    Well that is peachy… >.<….

    I wonder if I can call a phone via PC and if it won't be blocked… Do you know about that? Like Skype to phone? That wouldn't work would it?

  24. Jul28th2009
    24 richard Jul 28th, 2009 at 5:16 PM

    Well unless SKYPE has a SIP node in China and is terminating calls here…. I doubt it.

  25. Jul29th2009
    25 Tianna Jul 29th, 2009 at 9:32 AM

    What do you mean by that haha… I don’t use Skype… but I know he does… so what do you mean?

  26. Aug10th2009
    26 zhangxinjin Aug 10th, 2009 at 11:26 AM


    my best friend lives in xinjiang and she goes to school with me in the states… do you know if they can leave xinjiang or go to anyway in china right now?

  27. Aug17th2009
    27 richard Aug 17th, 2009 at 12:26 PM

    No idea to be honest. My wife is from there and it was HARD for her to get a passport. So I guess if one already has a passport then there is no problem….

  28. Aug30th2009
    28 WOWO Aug 30th, 2009 at 7:21 AM

    I tried to call xianjian from USA, all phones and internet are blocked. I only got through a few times from 1000 calls in last 1 10 days

  29. Aug31st2009
    29 Sean Aug 31st, 2009 at 10:46 PM

    Mail still work. My wife just send a parcel to her mom this month. And she got it.

  30. Sep27th2009
    30 richard Sep 27th, 2009 at 11:58 AM

    I know as much as the next person does…. Beijing is clamping down for this 60 years bull dust so I expect Xinjiang to remain clamped as well….

  31. Sep30th2009
    31 Roger Muncy Sep 30th, 2009 at 5:23 AM

    I don’t know how I did it but I managed to call my girlfriend on Sept. 21 on her cell phone in Urumqi. But that was the last time I was able to get through. Lately I’ve been calling a friend’s computer in Shanghai then she calls my girlfriend on her cell phone. This way we can kinda talk!

    I hope they get it turned back on on October the first, this is really getting old!

    Sorry to be so late with my reply: I use DHL because I’ve had real bad luck with USPS letters not making it to Urumqi.

  32. Oct2nd2009
    32 vivian hu Oct 2nd, 2009 at 7:31 AM

    it’s oct 1st and facebook hasn’t been unblocked yet….

  33. Oct2nd2009
    33 richard Oct 2nd, 2009 at 10:37 AM

    I’d wait until the end of Golden week and then give it some as yet unknown additional amount of time. 😉

  34. Oct2nd2009
    34 roger Oct 2nd, 2009 at 2:32 PM

    today is 2nd october, and still china is not lifted phone blockage in xinjiang.

  35. Oct2nd2009
    35 Susan Oct 2nd, 2009 at 5:27 PM

    It’s Oct. 2 and I can’t get on facebook, Twitter, or my blogspot blog still. I’m in Shandong province. I guess unknown additional time is needed. No surprise.

    They aren’t too keen on all this communication anyway.

  36. Oct2nd2009
    36 Susan Oct 2nd, 2009 at 5:29 PM

    At this university all our internet service was off from Sept 28th – the First. Did anyone else have the same trouble?

    I’ve asked but no one says why it was down for so long.

  37. Oct3rd2009
    37 heneray Oct 3rd, 2009 at 1:22 AM

    Its oct 2nd and I still can not make a call into kashi, xinjiang via mobile or landline. Does anyone know when it would be unblocked?

    I get a busy signal everytime.

  38. Oct12th2009
    38 Fahd Aziz Oct 12th, 2009 at 1:30 PM

    I’m from Pakistan. I don’t know how it happens. But i try to call my girl 200-300 times everyday.
    One of those call unexpectedly gets connected time at times. Just a coincidence i call it. Don’t really know how it happens. But it’s 12th of October today, and communication blackout continues in Xinjiang. No idea when things will go back to normal.

  39. Oct13th2009
    39 Akalamak Oct 13th, 2009 at 9:04 AM

    Does anyone have any suggestions about how to get through to Urumqi by phone from USA? Thanks for any advice you have.

  40. Oct17th2009
    40 Tianna Oct 17th, 2009 at 11:38 AM

    any new info on when it will be unblocked? I haven’t be able to talk to my bf since well… a long time how about that September 10th after his vacation. I talk through our friend in Zhengzhou and well I was hoping for some new info. anyone know any?

  41. Oct22nd2009
    41 heneray Oct 22nd, 2009 at 3:13 AM

    I am still unable to get through. I spoke with a local media in Xinjiang and it is said that international calls in and out are still blocked and the time it will be unblocked is unknown. Anyone with info or updates please post.

  42. Nov15th2009
    42 Kloudy Nov 15th, 2009 at 11:59 AM

    After the July Incident, I was able to use Skype until about early october to call into Xinjiang. My fiancee lives in Xinjiang and Im frustrated that I can’t call in from the U.S. Does anyone know any other way to call in? No messenger programs work. I’ve even tried eva-phone and though it gets through once in a while but it often disconnects or is filled with static.

  43. Nov15th2009
    43 tris Nov 15th, 2009 at 8:06 PM

    do you guys have any idea when the ban will be lifted. i have my wife there. i am always worried about her. i am talking to her through a friend inn the mainland.

  44. Nov16th2009
    44 mome888 Nov 16th, 2009 at 2:27 PM

    I have heard April next year when access is back.I also heard Spring festival.But i also heard Oct 1st,Oct 15th and Nov 1st.

  45. May21st2010
    45 richard May 21st, 2010 at 7:04 PM
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