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ibnlive.in.com / Associated Press / Posted on Aug 23, 2011 at 04:28pm IST.
Beijing: A major Chinese online commerce site has banned sales of software used to bypass Internet censorship amid Beijing's efforts to block the development of a Middle East-style protest movement.
But Taobao.com, part of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, said it took the action on its own and received no official order.
A notice on Taobao.com said virtual private networks and Internet protocol proxies were being used to illegally visit foreign websites. It told merchants that use the site to stop selling them and said the accounts of violaters might be cancelled.
China's government encourages Internet use for business and education but tries to block access to material deemed subversive or pornographic.
Beijing is especially uneasy about the Internet's potential to spread opposition to communist rule after social networking and other websites played a key role in protests that brought down governments in Egypt and Tunisia.
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