China has officially banned the website of the ABC, according to reports from inside the national broadcaster.
The ABC joins numerous other internet services on the ban list, including BBC, New York Times, Google, Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp, Wikipedia, Twitter, Pinterest, Bloomberg, Tumblr, The Wall Street Journal, Reuters, The Economist and parts of Reddit.
According to the ABC, the Chinese Government blocked the site on August 22 without notice, and only gave a response after repeated requests for clarification.
"China's internet is fully open. We welcome internet enterprises from all over the world to provide good information to the netizens of China," said the response from the Chinese Office of the Central Cyberspace Affairs Commission.
"However, state cyber sovereignty rights shall be maintained towards some overseas websites violating China's laws and regulations, spreading rumours, pornographic information, gambling, violent terrorism and some other illegal harmful information which will endanger state security and damage national pride."
It did not cite a specific article or incident as the cause of the ban.
In spite of the claim that it has an open internet, China’s heavy censorship of external internet services has been dubbed “the Great Firewall of China”, and has resulted in a very different internet experience for Chinese citizens compared to the rest of the world.
It has also given rise to several major services such as Baidu and WeChat, which now dominate search and chat in China without competition from the major international companies.
The ban of the ABC in China follows the recent banning of Chinese companies from 5G networks in Australia, although there has been no indication that this is related.
Speaking on radio station 3AW in Melbourne, Prime Minister Scott Morrison refused to condemn the ban, saying simply "China's a sovereign country, they make decisions about what happens there, we make decisions about what happens here."