Chinese Twitter-like Services Down: testing mode

News has just reached us today that Chinese social networking websites – which provide Twitter-like services to its users – have suddenly reverted to testing mode recently. This has resulted in the sites being inaccessible or even shut down temporarily.

Even though the actual Twitter website has been banned in China for over a year, Chinese Internet companies have been rather quick in filling the void. They have provided users with microblogging services that allow users to post frequent updates and follow others.

Sites that went down during the testing period included Sohu.com Inc’s microblog, and NetEase.com Inc’s microblog. The NetEase.com website had a notice, which said that the site had been down since 7pm on Tuesday and was currently under maintenance.

Sohu.com was also shut down for over a day earlier in the week, and all Chinese “twitters” now display a message that reads “in testing mode.” Company sources spoke to Reuters, and said that it was the result of tighter government controls over these services.

One source – who declined to be named because of the sensitivity of the subject – said: “Nobody will publicly announce the reason, but it is obvious as a fly on a bald head.” Another source said that the websites were under pressure from Chinese censors.

You can read more on this story via sbs.com.au.