This is not the first time the Chinese have blocked Youtube. Earlier blocks had been placed before and during the 2008 Olympics to prevent "seditious" information about Tibet, Uighurs, and/or the Dali Lami from reaching sensitive eyes and ears. Those blocks remain in place and/or are heavily monitored.
But now the Chinese government has moved to block Youtube entirely - no doubt for its access to on the ground reports by citizen bloggers about the economy. True figures are hard to access because of the government's tight control over the media. But million of migrant workers have lost their jobs in the industrial cities of the east (many w/o pay or even advance notice) and are circulating restlessly around the countryside. Police continue to jail and beat those figures who too stubborn to learn their lessons - not even bothering w/the pretense of re-education camps anymore.
Goldbugs have also been speculating that the latest Peter Schiff goldbug videos (translated of course) have been circulating that warns ordinary Chinese of their eventual economic fate: bagholders of Treasuries. No paradigm lasts forever - and that includes the Treasuries for cheap labor model adopted by the US and China over the past 15 years.
The Chinese government has apparently moved to block YouTube once again.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the government began blocking the site slowly over the past 24 hours. Quoting a Google spokesman, the Journal reported that the company has not been given a reason for the ban.
A Chinese official was asked about the ban during a press conference on Tuesday and said the "Chinese government has taken up management of the network according to the laws," the Journal reported.