The Chinese government has blocked access to Foursquare for users located in mainland China following an influx in users “checking in” to Tiananmen Square as a show of solidarity with Chinese dissidents, and to commemorate those who died in the massacre 21 years ago.
Though the true reason for the blockage is still unknown, the issued with Tiananmen Square makes the most sense, as the Chinese government is notorious for stifling discussion about the event, and already blocks internet searches that contain those key terms.
According to this blog post from a news site covering tech news in China, there’s been a dramatic increase in the number of people using Foursquare to ‘visit’ Tiananmen Square. The blog published a screenshot (posted above) of a user’s Foursquare app on the iPhone, which shows hundreds of people checking in at the site of the massacre.
This seems to fall in line with China’s “Great Firewall,” which already blocks Google, Facebook, websites about Tibet, the religious group Falun Gong and now the Tiananmen Square massacre, though no word on whether the Foursquare ban is temporary or permanent. It looks as though “Mayors” in China can rest assured their titles won’t be taken any time soon.