Internet, Law & Policy

Govt Crackdown: Chinese VoIP Website UUCall Suspends Services

According to reports in local media, Chinese voice over IP service provider UUCall has suspended its services for breaking Chinese laws.

The reports state that on October 7, 2009, the domain name services system of the website for UUCall broke and its services were closed. The sudden service closure reportedly affected 30 million registered users of this VoIP website. Customer service staff from the website explained at that time that a domain name dispute was the cause for this operation suspension.

However, latest information from Wang Jianhua, the own of the UUCall software and the official website UUCall.com, shows that the real reason for UUCall's service suspension is because of its failure to adhere to unspecified laws and policies regulating VoIP businesses in China. Wang said UUCall has been coordinating with the related government departments with the aim of recovering its services.

Founded in 2004, UUCall has been developed into one of the largest VoIP brands in China. With the UUCall software, users can make calls on their computers to any telephone or mobile phone across the world, with the low cost of only CNY0.06 per minute.

With the rise of VoIP enterprises in 2005, the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, which was then called Ministry of Information Industry, issued regulations to limit the entry of Chinese private capital into the operation of VoIP. This policy was mainly to protect the rights and interests of traditional telecom operators and showed worry about the communications quality and communications information security of Internet calls. However, with the rapid growth of Chinese netizens and the maturity of the VoIP technology, operating enterprises in this sector also developed. In contrast, the unsound supervising policies in this field have imposed great pressures and challenges on this emerging industry.

UUCall has not provided details on when it exactly plans to restart services.

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