Get the Latest News Updates

Twitter, WeChat, and Vkontakte are unblocked in Uzbekistan: government

The totalitarian government of Uzbekistan said on Monday that popular Russian social network Vkontakte, WeChat, and Twitter were all no longer restricted in the Central Asian nation. It noted that discussions with China’s TikTok continued.

The 35 million-person nation has been blocking access to the tech giants for more than a year due to what it claims is their alleged breach of a local legislation requiring the storage of domestic users’ personal data in Uzbekistan. Access to Twitter, WeChat, and Vkontakte (now known as VK) had been “completely resumed” as of Monday, the state communications agency claimed in a statement shared on social media, adding that “blocking only hinders progress.”

According to the statement, the government would soon provide updates on its negotiations with TikTok, which has continued to be widely used by young people in Uzbekistan despite the restriction.

Since the passing of hard-line president Islam Karimov in 2016 and the rise to power of his protégé Shavkat Mirziyoyev, 65, Uzbekistan has been praised with opening up.

However, detractors contend that after imprisoning a critical blogger and applying pressure to independent media outlets in recent years, the authorities have taken steps to limit the newly discovered space for public discourse.