China to Block Skype Usage

According to a Reuters report China is starting to block Skype service in Shenzhen in south China. Local Chinese media report that China Telecom has plans to eventually block the service throughout its coverage area nationwide. Could this have something to do with the fact that China Telecom charges close to $1 per minute for calls to United States and Europe? From the article:

A China Telecom spokesman had no comment on the reports about the Shenzhen blockage, but gave a broader view. “Under the current relevant laws and regulations of China, PC-to-phone services are strictly regulated and only China Telecom and (the nation’s other fixed-line carrier) China Netcom are permitted to carry out some trials on a very limited basis,” he said.

This doesn’t bode well for us expats who benefit from Skype to talk to our friends and familly back home.