Just in time for Halloween, Google's YouTube became available again in China, two weeks after it was blocked.
Although Chinese Internet regulators don't comment on why sites are blocked, YouTube's blocking seemed to be tied one or two events: the 17th Communist Party Congress, the Chinese Communist Party's most important meeting, held every five years; and the launching of YouTube's traditional language site in Taiwan, both during the same week in the middle of this month. The YouTube Taiwan site is also available in China.
However, while YouTube can be viewed again, Blogspot is once again unavailable, one of several sites that see-saw between being allowed or prohibited. Although attempts to reach Blogspot's homepage rerouted to Blogger.com's simplified Chinese homepage, neither Blogspot owner Google's official blog nor the infamous Chinabounder blog -- which features the sexual exploits and political rantings of a foreign English teacher in Shanghai -- could be reached.
Blocked throughout the recent changes is the English-language site of Wikipedia. Its Chinese-language site is almost always unavailable here.
China regularly blocks access to Web sites that it finds objectionable, including those dealing with politically sensitive subjects such as the Falun Gong religious cult and independence for Taiwan and Tibet, along with some pornographic sites.