As everyone is talking about how eBay may ridiculously overpay for Skype, the few defenders are pointing out what a huge market Skype could have. Well, it seems that that potential market has just shrunk by about 1.3 billion people. China is the latest country to ban Skype for fear of it eating into state-owned telco revenue. The thought is that the Chinese government may actually try to ban all kinds of VoIP. While most articles suggest the reasoning is to protect revenue, another perfectly reasonable explanation is that they're afraid of Skype because it lets people communicate without government oversight, something the Chinese government believes is dangerous. Of course, while they claim such communication may be dangerous to the citizenry, what they really mean is it may be dangerous to the government. Of course, it seems like it shouldn't be that hard for people to work out a way to get around the block by disguising/encrypting the packets in some form or another, because (once again) voice is just data in the end. Update: Thanks to Jeff Nolan for pointing out that the block is supposedly (currently) just around Shenzen, and saying that he has first hand knowledge that Skype is still working, even in Shenzen... So, the details of what's really going on still seem a bit fuzzy. Another update: Once again Jeff Nolan comes through with more details. Apparently the blocks only apply to SkypeOut calls that go to telephones. Still seems like a bad move.
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