efe_epaBeijing

China has blocked the photo sharing website Pinterest, which has over 150 million users, the website GreatFire, which monitors the state of internet censorship in China, reported Friday.

In earlier years, Pinterest, used mainly to share photos, had occasionally faced access issues from China but those seem to have become permanent since the middle of last week, GreatFire said.

The blockade coincides with the celebration - from Mar. 5-15 - of the annual session of China's legislature, the biggest annual political event of the Communist government, during which censorship and pressure against human rights activists are stepped up.

EFE verified that the photo sharing site could not be accessed from computers in Beijing or Shanghai on Friday.

Pinterest was one of the few social media sites still accessible on Chinese territory, where Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Google Plus, Snapchat, Line and Telegram have been blocked for some time now.

Other websites censored in China include the Google search engine and the video sharing website, YouTube, although many netizens in the country find ways to access the blocked sites, for example, by using virtual private network services (VPN).

Pinterest President Tim Kendall had said last year that the site "isn't a social network" but a "catalogue of ideas," which, according to him, explained why it was still allowed in China.