Notepad++ Software Banned in China for Supporting Hong Kong, Xinjiang

August 18, 2020 Updated: August 18, 2020

The free text editing software Notepad++ announced on its official Twitter account on Aug. 16 that the company’s website was blocked by China’s Tencent Website Security Center.

The software company said the ban was “obviously due to its #FreeUyghur and #StandWithHongKong” versions of the software.

Notepad++ has actively supported the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong, where Beijing has recently enacted a draconian national security law to criminalize any acts of subversion, secession, and collusion with foreign forces against the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) regime. Last month, the company named its latest software version “Stand with Hong Kong.”

According to a screenshot Notepad++ posted  on Twitter, when a user tries to access the download page of Notepad++’s official website in China, a warning issued by the Tencent Website Security Center pops up, stating “this site may contain illegal content.” It also states that “this site has been reported by a large number of users. It may have posted content that is explicitly prohibited by the state. To protect your personal and property safety, we recommend that you visit with caution.”

Many netizens left messages on Twitter congratulating the software for obtaining the “privilege” of being blocked in China.

Some tweets expressing support were: “Congratulations on being blocked by the CCP. Achievement unlocked!”, and “Being blocked by the CCP means you are doing the right thing!”

Notepad++ is a popular text editing software developed by Chinese-French developer Don Ho, who has been concerned about human rights issues and social affairs. In April this year, the words “THANK YOU HEALTHCARE WORKERS” were added to the updated version of the software to thank frontline medical staff who were treating COVID-19 patients around the world.

He also successively supported the “Free Uyghur” movement, referring to the Uyghur Muslim ethnic minorities who are being heavily suppressed in China’s Xinjiang region; and the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, when students who called for democratic reforms were brutally massacred by Chinese troops.