The Register reports China has banned the use of Skype and other Western VoIP services to protect the profits of the country's traditional telecom operators:
The decision was made by the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology but no date for its implementation was announced, the Peoples' Daily reports. Skype denied knowledge of the impending ban. "“Users in China currently can access Skype via TOM Online, our majority JV partner," the eBay subsidiary told Mashable, via a statement.
Other countries, including Panama, have tried to outlaw VoIP services for similar economically protectionist reasons. However such bans are difficult to enforce in practice because there are always workarounds, at least for tech savvy users.