The Chinese government was reportedly on the verge Friday of slapping a ban on some Voice over Internet Protocol telephone service.

The China Daily said users of VoIP software from SkypeOut recently found themselves unable to use the Internet phone and could face fines if they use it in the future.

SkypeOut is not among the six Chinese telecoms licensed to offer VoIP service and has apparently cost China Telecom a large number of subscribers, the newspaper reported.

SkypeOut appeals to user in large part because it allows users to call any overseas telephone via the Internet while officially sanctioned services are strictly PC-to-PC.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International