HBO Website Blocked in China Over John Oliver Bit

HBO’s website remained blocked in China Monday for the fourth straight day following a recent segment on “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” that took a critical look at the country. That’s according to data from Greatfire.org, a website that frequently tests popular websites to determine their availability to Chinese internet users.

Oliver had spent some 20 minutes in the June 17 edition of his show to take a closer look at China’s economic rise, the Chinese government’s crackdown on dissent and the ever-expanding power of China’s president Xi Jinping. Oliver also put the spotlight on some memes used by China’s dissidents, which includes comparing Xi Jinping to Winnie the Pooh.

That apparently didn’t go over well with China’s government censors. HBO’s entire web presence became unavailable to its internet users late last week, and has remained blocked ever since, according to Greatfire.

China has long tightly controlled the content its citizens can consume on the internet. The country does so with the help of what’s known as the “great firewall,” which allows state-run ISPs to monitor and censor all internet traffic entering the country. However, China’s internet users frequently regain access to blocked content with the help of VPN services and other tools meant to circumvent internet censorship.

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