Naver, Korea’s largest portal site, is suddenly not accessible from China. It is not confirmed whether the Chinese authorities blocked access, but speculation is emerging that the recently deteriorating relationship between Korea and China may have had an impact. In addition to blocking Naver, the appearance of a Korean celebrity who was supposed to appear on a Chinese entertainment program was suddenly canceled, adding to this speculation.
As of the 23rd, it is impossible to access Naver in China. This phenomenon occurred immediately after the G7 summit in Hiroshima, Japan on the 21st, and some observers say that this may be a reflection of the strained relationship between Korea and China.
On the 23rd, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that it was “confirming with relevant organizations” regarding reports that local access to Naver was blocked following Korean portal sites in China. Responding to a related question at a regular briefing that day, Foreign Ministry spokesman Lim Su-seok said, “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is also aware of related reports.” Naver said, “As a result of checking through the Chinese corporation, it is true that the connection is not smooth,” but “we cannot know whether the Chinese government has blocked it.” He added, “It is difficult to determine whether China intentionally blocked it or whether it was simply a technical error.”
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said on the same day that Naver was also blocked from accessing the country following Daum in China, saying, “There is no specific information as we are checking with related organizations.” said. Recently, a phenomenon in which access to Naver is not available or the speed is very slow is occurring in all parts of China, including not only Beijing and Shanghai, but also Jilin, Liaoning, Sichuan, and Jiangsu provinces.
For this reason, in order to use Naver normally, you must install a virtual private network (VPN), which is an Internet bypass access program. In China, access to some functions such as Naver cafes and blogs was blocked from October 2018, but search functions and mail were freely available. Access to Daum, a portal operated by Kakao, has already been blocked in China since January 2019.
In addition to the inability to access Naver, there was also an incident in which Korean singer and actor Jung Yong-hwa visited China to appear on a Chinese entertainment program, but the appearance was suddenly canceled. According to the Chinese media, Xinjingbo, Jung Yong-hwa arrived in Beijing on the 17th to appear in the new audition program ‘Struggle Class 1’ of the famous online video service (OTT) ‘iQiyi’. However, the Beijing City Radio TV station said, “After confirming with iQiyi, the news that Yong-Hwa Jung is filming a variety show in Beijing is not true. Chinese media reported that Chinese netizens reported Jung Yong-hwa’s appearance plans to the broadcasting authorities, which led to his appearance not appearing.
Mark Jones is a world traveler and journalist for News Rebeat. With a curious mind and a love of adventure, Mark brings a unique perspective to the latest global events and provides in-depth and thought-provoking coverage of the world at large.