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Chinese police are searching phones for Instagram, Twitter, and Telegram as protests mount

Police in China are checking people’s phones for the presence of foreign apps, including Instagram, Twitter, and the encrypted messaging app Telegram, according to reports from The Wall Street Journal and CNBC. While both outlets indicate that police are stopping people at transportation hubs in Shanghai, William Yang, the East Asia correspondent at the German outlet DW News, says it’s happening in Beijing and Hangzhou as well.

In China’s capital city, Yang says that the authorities are writing down the personal information of anyone they catch with foreign apps and giving them a warning. “If they face resistance, police would say they could report the person,” he adds. These stops can occur anywhere, Yang notes, such as in the street and at mall entrances. Chinese police are also threatening to arrest people for not deleting photos of the protests, according to the BBC.

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