China Internet Users Report Access Cuts to CCTV, NetEase

Chinese Internet users reported they couldn’t access some websites today, just two months after the country with the largest online population was struck by an outage that affected millions.

People in Beijing, Shanghai and the northeast province of Heilongjiang reported difficulty accessing NetEase Inc.’s portal and the website of state-run broadcaster CCTV, said Dong Fang, an engineer for Internet security at Qihoo 360 Technology Co. Hacking and technical problems can’t be ruled out for the outage that started at about 9 a.m., he said.

More than two-thirds of China’s web traffic was disrupted on Jan. 21, which censorship monitoring site said could have been the unintended result of changes made to government web controls. Today’s disruption may have been the result of a hacker attack or technical problems, Qihoo said.

“A lot of users were bounced to web pages that displayed messages telling them they couldn’t access the websites,” said Jin Lei, a marketing director at Kingsoft Corp.’s Internet-security unit. “It could have been because the content delivery network had technical issues or were under hacker attacks.”

The outage lasted about 10 minutes and the websites that had problems used the same content distribution network provider, said Qihoo.

In January, the National Computer Network Emergency Response Center in China said that month’s outage was caused by a cyber-attack, according to a statement on its website.

China, home to 618 million Internet users, routinely censors the Internet by blocking access to websites with content critical of the Communist Party’s rule. The main websites of Twitter Inc., Facebook Inc. and Google Inc.’s Youtube are inaccessible in China.