According to Chinese media, the country’s Ministry of Information and Industry Technology will seek to block Western VoIP providers.
The aim is apparently to safeguard existing Chinese telecoms operators, not least China Telecom and China Unicom, against low-cost outside competition.
However, some people have suggested the news is simply part of increasingly aggressive censorship of the internet by Chinese authorities.
Last year internet giants Facebook.com and Youtube.com were blocked by Chinese officials, joining a tally of major portals also blocked, such as Twitter and Flickr.
Last year also saw Google go head to head against Chinese authorities, ostensibly in response to an alleged GMail hack from within China. The search giant already self-censored its search results for Chinese users.
While the new announcement did not specifically mention any carriers by name, Skype is particularly believed to be implicated in the announced ban on VoIP due to its extensive worldwide use.
There remain few details at present as to what, if any, measure will be put in place by China’s Ministry of Information and Industry Technology, let alone a date.
To some the moves on censoring internet access will seem contrary for a country which has become increasingly open to visitors and economic reform, yet has also become increasingly restrictive on how its users access content online.