The unidentified issue caused a large number of websites to be unreachable for at least one hour and Internet users were redirected to a website owned by Dynamic Internet Technology, a company that works with the Falun Gong, a Buddhist group that — among other things — offers VPN software to counteract China’s Internet censorship.
Bill Xia, the Dynamic Internet Technology president said he believes the incident was a result of a system malfunction or operator mistake which redirected a range of Internet domains to the company’s site, which is actually banned in China.
The surge in traffic triggered Dynamic Internet Technology’s security system to shut down the site to many, leaving them with blank pages.
The incident is said to have affected users for an hour, but the issue was reported to be longer lasting in rural areas. A representative from Net.cn, an Internet service provider owned by Alibaba said.
China experienced a notable outage in 2012, which saw Sina Weibo go down on the first day of a murder trial involving a high-profile politician’s wife.
However, some China-based Internet users who were using VPNs to access the Web unfiltered,found no noticeable issues accessing sites.